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Abulafia’s Demons: The Psychological Dimension Of Abulafia’s Relationship To Christianity

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Chapter Summary

Recent scholarly work has opened the way for an extended consideration of the connection between Abulafia's demonology and Christianity. A propitious starting point for a discussion of Abulafia's demonology and of its relationship to Christianity lies in Abulafia's conception of letter permutation as a test or a trial. Abulafia explains that he places his faith in intellective thought, as against imaginative thought. This attempt at clarity poses its own obvious problems, however. The imaginary forms of demons are unreal to the degree that they are subject to generation and corruption, just as are the things of the terrestrial world, though there is a difference. Despite his positive appraisal of evil, soon after in Sitrei Torah, Abulafia begins to flesh out the grave danger to the mystic of the demonic entity.

Keywords: Abraham Abulafia; Christianity; demons; Sitrei Torah



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