- Series: Society of Biblical Literature Symposium (Book 11)
- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature (November 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1589832574
- ISBN-13: 978-1589832572
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,374,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Paradise Now: Essays on Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism (Society of Biblical Literature: Symposium Series) Paperback – November 15, 2006
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The studies in this volume explore a wealth of diverse types and traditions of religious literature, and they deploy a similarly intriguing diversity of analytic methods to this end. Various authors take up the question of performance, theories of ritual, textual transmission and cultural memory, gender theory, and topics of the spatiality of experience and its relation to textualization. Readers will .nd here a provocative mapping of types, texts and analytic models for the interpretation of mystical experience within early Jewish and Christian groups. --Ward Blanton, Journal for the Study of the New Testament (30/5 : 108-9)
About the Author
April D. DeConick is Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University in Houston. She is the author of Voices of the Mystics: Early Christian Discourse in the Gospels of John, Thomas and Other Ancient Christian Literature; Recovering the Original Gospel of Thomas: A History of the Gospel and Its Growth; and The Original Gospel of Thomas in Translation: With a Commentary and New English Translation of the Complete Gospel (all from T&T Clark). She is an active member of the Society of Biblical Literature where she was one of the founders of the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Group and currently serves as co-Chair of the New Testament Mysticism Project.
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Early Jewish and Christian mysticsm was related to the belief that a person directly, immediately, and before death can experience the divine. The Hekhalot literature is from the Hebrew word for "Palaces", relating to visions of ascents into heavenly palaces. The genre overlaps with Merkabah or "heavenly chariot" literature. Both literary traditions express a profound interest in holy angels as guardians of holy time in sevenfold divisions within the seven heavenly sanctuaries.
The earthly temple is the embodiment of a celestial archetype: the heavenly palace and throne room of the Lord. The cosmos itself is conceptualized as a temple, and the earthly temple reflects this structure. The interior of the temple was identified with the garden of Eden or paradise. The living structure of the cosmic temple, and its members are incorporated into the celestial reality.
I am particularly interested in the second temple and early Christian scripture expositions that led to these beliefs.