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Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola And The Allegorical Veridicality Of Transmigration

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Chapter Summary

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola displays a strong syncretic tendency in his description of man's place within the cosmos. This can be witnessed to by the famous opening of his Oratio, in which he paraphrases Abdul the Saracen as saying that man is the most worthy entity of wonder on the world's stage. Throughout his works, Pico interestingly makes no reference to the kabbalistic notion of metempsychosis, though he most certainly had access to it, both through Hebrew texts that were made available to him and through his Jewish teachers. This epistle, here stated to have been commenced with the explicit purpose of elucidating the kabbalistic idea of transmigration, was initially written in the thirteenth century to a certain Rabbi Judah Solomon of Barcelona and was intended as a rejoinder to the personal censure of Abulafia and his prophetic kabbalah by the important theosophical kabbalist, Rabbi Shlomo ibn Aderet.

Keywords: Abdul; Abulafia; Giovanni Pico della Mirandola; Hebrew texts; kabbalistic; Oratio; Rabbi Judah Solomon; Rabbi Shlomo ibn Aderet



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