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Faculty of Humanities
University of Amsterdam

Online conference: “For there, I, Hayiim, was living”: R. Hayiim Vital and his World

An Online Conference, organized by the Goldstein Goren International Center for Jewish Thought, Commemorating the 400 th Anniversary of his Death ( 1620-2020 ) | September 14 th -16 th, 2020.

John MacMurphy, PhD student at HHP, will be presenting a paper “Between Chymia and Alchemy: Chayim Vital’s Intimate Relationship with Western Occult Praxis”.

Vital is known first and foremost as the chief disciple of R Isaac Luria. Luria himself wrote little; Vital is thus responsible to a large extent for what is now known as “Lurianic Kabbalah”. As a paragon of the sixteenth century Safed renaissance, many aspects of Jewish life in Palestine and Syria are imbricated in his life and thought in this critical chapter of early modern Jewish history Alongside his immense and singular contribution to the development of the Kabbalah, the breadth and diversity of Vital’s interests are evident in his rich corpus of writings. These are devoted to a plethora of topics and express the variegated aspects of his activity over many decades in Safed, Jerusalem, and Damascus. The study of Vital’s life and work may thus shed light on many facets of contemporary Ottoman Jewish society.

Sessions include:
Safedian Modes of Fashioning Prominent Figures | Crossroads in the Formations of Kabbalistic Knowledge | Vital, Between Cordovero and Luria: A Reappraisal | Vital’s Book of Visions and Its Early and Later Contexts

| Safedian Praxis and Its Contexts | Safed Beyond the Text: Reality and Imagination | Metempsychosis and the Fate of the Soul | Vital the Doubtful Messiah | Safed’s Culture of the Book | The Formation of Lurianic Kabbalah Across Regions | From Vilna to Jerusalem: Reading Vital in Modern Times | Vital in a Philosophical Tone

Papers will be delivered in both Hebrew and English.
To register, click this link and than click on “REGISTRATION” in the top right corner.

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