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Richard I. Cohen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190912628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190912628.001.0001

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Shaul Magid, Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity and the Construction of Modern Judaism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. 271 pp.

Shaul Magid, Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity and the Construction of Modern Judaism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. 271 pp.

Chapter:
(p.262) Shaul Magid, Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity and the Construction of Modern Judaism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. 271 pp.
Source:
Place in Modern Jewish Culture and Society
Author(s):
Richard I. Cohen
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190912628.003.0029

This chapter reviews the book Hasidism Incarnate: Hasidism, Christianity and the Construction of Modern Judaism (2015), by Shaul Magid. In Hasidism Incarnate, Magid shows how incarnation works in Hasidism and discusses the potential of Hasidism to mediate between Judaism and Christianity. According to Magid, Hasidism’s theology is incarnational: as in Christianity, he argues, God in Hasidism becomes incarnate by suffusing human beings with divinity. Magid builds on an extensive set of writings by Elliot Wolfson regarding how the medieval kabbalists adopted a theology of incarnation. As opposed to medieval Jewish mysticism, however, Magid believes that Hasidism developed “outside the Christian gaze,” which gave it the freedom to adopt an incarnational theology without the need for apologetics. He views Hasidism as modern in that it lays the groundwork for a real dialogue with Christianity, even if that was not its original intention.

Keywords:   Incarnation, Hasidism Incarnate, Judaism, Shaul Magid, Hasidism, Christianity, Elliot Wolfson, kabbalists

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