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Kabbalah and Knowledge Circulation in Early Modern East-Central Europe

Mon, December 16, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Hilton Bayfront San Diego, Aqua Salon C

Session Submission Type: Panel Session

Session Sponsor: Emmy Noether Research Group


The main objective of the panel is to recognise and evaluate the part that kabbalistic literatures, in a variety of their written formats, played in the transfer of knowledge in the early modern world, a subject that has only recently began to attract scholarly attention. The panel will gather participants to contribute a series of case studies that will help critically reassess the role and consequences of a variety of texts and practices deemed esoteric in the early modern transmission of knowledge. The panel will be focused on contextualized readings of primary texts presented by each participant with the aim to highlight variant patterns of the diffusion of kabbalistic traditions in changing cultural and historical circumstances, and their role in the formation and transformation of contemporary knowledge systems in East-Central Europe. The panel will aim to engage in the discussion on the role of copying, editing and printing strategies in the introduction of the speculative doctrines of kabbalah in East-Central Europe. Finally, by concentrating on the broadly defined kabbalistic lore, often included in magical or moralistic literary genres, the panel will aim to assess the circulation of esoteric knowledge and praxis in a variety of its textual formats in the early modern period.

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