Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Postel (trans. Weiss), On the Conciliation of Nature and Grace

On the Conciliation of Nature and Grace
A Latin Translation and Commentary on the Zohar by Guillaume Postel (1510-1581)

By Guillaume Postel
Translation: Judith Weiss

Publisher: The Hebrew University Magnes Press
Categories: Jewish Studies, Christianity, Jewish Mysticism
Publish date: November 2017
Language: Hebrew
Danacode: 45-141030
ISBN: 978-965-7759-28-8
Cover: Paperback
Pages: 373
Weight: 800 gr.

Ever since its emergence in the thirteenth-century, Jewish Kabbalah, and most prominently – the Book of Zohar, has captured the hearts of Jewish as well as non-Jewish readers. Significant interest in Kabbalah is evident in the Renaissance, when various Christian Scholars accepted the traditional Jewish narrative, according to which the corpus of medieval Jewish Kabbalah is the Oral Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. The sixteenth century is rightfully considered the golden age of this kind of Christian interest in Jewish Kabbalah. During this period a group of scholars, high-rank priests, and secular rulers were familiar with Kabbalistic notions, some of these Christians read the Kabbalistic treatises, whether in their original versions or in translation, some even composed commentaries or translated them into Latin, and most important - they incorporated Kabbalistic notions into their own theological and messianic conceptions. Among Kabbalistic writings, most of these thinkers' attention was drawn to the Zohar, and some of them attempted to translate parts of it into Latin. The first comprehensive, though not complete Latin translation of the Zohar was composed by the French orientalist and mystic Guillaume Postel in the middle of the 16th century. Postel was a prolific and original thinker, who developed an elaborate messianic theological schema, which he based upon Kabbalistic notions. Convinced, as he was, that the Zohar is the perfect and ultimate expression of his own messianic concepts, he embarked on his life project – producing a Latin translation and commentary on the Zohar. This fascinating commentary on the Zohar never appeared in print nor was it ever translated into any language. In Judith Weiss's On the Conciliation of Nature and Grace substantial parts of Postel's Commentaries on the Zohar are presented in the original Latin vis a vis her Hebrew translation, accompanied by introductions and notes, elucidating Postel's unique perception of the Zohar and the Kabbalah.
Cross-file under Zohar Watch. For many past PaleoJudaica posts on the Zohar, start here (cf. here) and follow the links.

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