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Another ModernityElia Benamozegh's Jewish Universalism$
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Clémence Boulouque

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781503612006

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9781503612006.001.0001

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Kabbalah as Politics

Kabbalah as Politics

(p.133) Chapter 12 Kabbalah as Politics
Another Modernity

Clémence Boulouque

Stanford University Press

Chapter 12 examines Benamozegh’s reading of Kabbalah as capable of underwriting a political project that involved the remaking of a secretive, esoteric tradition into a public, exoteric conversation. Benamozegh claimed Kabbalah as a centerpiece of Jewish thought that should help to revisit Western culture in order to reform its materialistic tendencies, thus pushing against the Orientalism tropes of his time. This stance foreshadows one of the turning points in the reception of Kabbalah in the twentieth century, exemplified by the works of such thinkers as Yehuda Ashlag, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and Léon Askénazi, in which its themes and concepts can be used as a political discourse.

Keywords:   Orientalism, Yehuda Ashlag, Abraham Isaac Kook, esotericism, exotericism, materialism

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