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Abulafia And Alterity: The Other In The Self

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Chapter Summary

In Boyarin's estimation, rabbinic mistrust of such means was intertwined with the censure of Christianity, which, the rabbis maintained, was sorcerous at its root. The possibility of a Jew's being attracted to elements of Christianity was not unexpected, due to the two groups' intimate relationship, but the Tosefta authorship insists that an irrevocable difference exists nonetheless between the groups, one which calls for R. Eliezer's censure. The echo of R. Eliezer comes as well from the fact that Abulafia's self-professed authoritative status came with a supernatural component. Abulafia went so far as to assign to his own achievements a messianic dimension. The ability to perceive one's own rootedness in history, to include the apprehension of one's own subjective and mediated perceptions and their sources, is seen to come always as a consequence of historical investigation, and not prior to it.

Keywords: Abulafia; Christianity; Jew's; R. Eliezer; rabbis



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