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Rewriting The Book Of Nature: Kabbalah And The Metaphors Of Contemporary Life-Sciences

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Chapter Summary

Although Jan N. Bremmer's scholarship is based on a solid knowledge of ancient religion, in many publications Bremmer has drawn the line from Antiquity into Modernity, and has engaged the cultural patterns that underlie Western discourses. The issues related to the 'ontologies of language' are closely linked to Jan N. Bremmer's approaches and interpretations. Looking at the influence of the so-called 'life sciences' in contemporary Western societies, one cannot but wonder whether we are indeed opening a new chapter in the history of science: what used to be the deterministic paradigm of physics has been transformed into a dynamic paradigm of 'life'. This chapter historicizes the metaphors of coding and decoding and discusses their philosophical and religious context. With a special focus on the Kabbalah, it addresses the genealogy of the underlying concepts of nature and explores their various manifestations in early modern discourses of knowledge.

Keywords: Jan N. Bremmer; Kabbalah; life sciences; Modernity; ontologies of language



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