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Refutation And Absorption: Abulafia’s Response To The Christian Context

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Chapter Summary

Modern scholarship on medieval Jewish mysticism has paved the way for a thorough investigation of Abraham Abulafia's complicated relationship toward Christianity. David Abulafia observes that, during the time of Abraham Abulafia's sojourn in Sicily, Jews continued to speak in Arabic there, despite the Christian accession. Both Christians and Jews traded in accusations that the other was to be linked with attributes associated with blood, and particularly the most unclean blood of all, that of menstruation. The two that did practice some form of physical circumcision, Judaism and Islam, are described, contrariwise, as possessing in varying degrees a spiritual circumcision. Abulafia's sense of the connectedness between Hebrew and the other languages also implies a historical messianic dimension to his thought. Abulafia begins with the familiar assertion that the sages of the gentiles are denied authentic revelation.

Keywords: Abraham Abulafia; Christians; Hebrew; Jewish mysticism; Jews; Sicily



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