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Concealment and Revelation: Esotericism in Jewish Thought and Its Philosophical Implications Hardcover – 1 Sep 2007


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"Halbertal explains complex issues clearly and gracefully, moving smoothly from dense kabbalistic passages to abstruse texts on medieval philosophy in a way that allows the unspecialized reader to follow his train of thought without plumbing the depths of each theological system to which he refers."--Jewish Book World

"This concise and brilliant book . . . provides great insight into individual thinkers like Ibn Ezra, whose astrological beliefs are frequently overlooked by his readers, and Rambam, whose explicit esotericism has perplexed readers for centuries. . . . A translation of the 2001 Hebrew edition, this very scholarly yet highly readable work will be recognized as a masterful work for many years to come."--Tradition

"Halbertal's book outlines a challenging theory in the intellectual history of Jewish creativity. He does not rely on new material but offers a superb interpretation of available material. This book undoubtedly represents a major contribution to the discourse on the character and the varieties of ancient and medieval Jewish thought."--Dov Schwartz, Journal of Religion

From the Back Cover

"Moshe Halbertal's book will be a revelation to anyone interested in religious, philosophical, psychological, or political concealment. It has wide implications for the political craving for transparency, and dazzling insights into depth psychology (such as Freud's) and esoteric tendencies in philosophy (such as Wittgenstein's). The book manifests not only immense learning and virtuosity in reading Jewish texts but also genuine wisdom."--Avishai Margalit, Institute for Advanced Study

"Halbertal's virtuosic exploration of a major dimension of medieval Jewish thought opens new vistas in Jewish philosophy and mysticism."--Moshe Idel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"This is the most conceptually penetrating book that I can imagine on concealment and revelation in premodern Jewish thought. An original foray into a subject that has not been well developed, it has the makings of a classic. In particular, the essay on esotericism is rich and substantial. There can be no question of the book's brilliance."--Noah Feldman, author of Divided by God

"Original, consistently interesting, and thought-provoking. This book exhibits the author's knack for synthesizing complicated technical material with clarity and verve, and making it accessible to both scholars in adjacent fields and to general readers."--Bernard Septimus, Harvard University

"This book's taxonomy of esoteric knowledge and attempt to establish its importance both as a thing in itself and as an object of study are absolutely fascinating and indeed captivating. The book made an important aspect of medieval Jewish intellectual and spiritual life much less forbidding to me than it had been before, and it should make similar bodies of esoteric knowledge and esoteric movements--like late antique gnosticism and late medieval Christian mysticism--more approachable also."--William Chester Jordan, Princeton University


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
difficult interesting read 27 Mar. 2008
By E. Freedlander - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Concealment and Revelation is a very good book if you have background in the subject of esotericism and the debate over it in the medieval ages. However, it is still very difficult to understand with that background. As for amazon, they shipped it to me on time, and it was in perfectly new condition. I would suggest this for anyone looking to read a historical philosophy book on the subject of esotericism as long as you have previous knowledge in the subject.
Masterful Scholarship 14 Jan. 2014
By David G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant treatment of a difficult, complex subject. The twists and turns of Medieval Jewish mysticism present an overwhelming challenge but Halbertal maps them as clearly as can be done, and the major thrusts of the subject are clear and not difficult to find or follow. The jewels of this study are in the philosophical implications of this history, with the final chapter profound in the surprise connections I had never before considered. Certainly a background in Jewish or even Christian mysticism is a great help in approaching this work, but an intelligent reader of general background will find considerable reward here as well. Scholarship at its best. Masterful.
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