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(5,184 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas
The German language plays an important and ambivalent role in Jewish history. On the one hand, it became a medium of secularization, integration, and emancipation. In this capacity, it advanced in the 19th century to become the lingua franca of the Ashkenazi Jews and of large parts of Eastern Europe, where it was seen as a expression of progress, education, and science. On the other hand, it became a locus of social and cultural inequality between Jews and Germans. Cultural antisemitism deprived…
Date: 2019-12-16


(4,925 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas
Die deutsche Sprache spielt in der jüdischen Geschichte eine ebenso gewichtige wie ambivalente Rolle. Auf der einen Seite wurde sie zum Medium von Säkularisierung, Integration und Emanzipation. Als solche avancierte sie im 19. Jahrhundert zur Lingua franca des aschkenasischen Judentums bis weit ins östliche Europa, wo sie als Ausdruck von Fortschritt, Bildung und Wissenschaft gesehen wurde. Auf der anderen Seite wurde sie zum Ort gesellschaftlicher und kultureller Ungleichheit zwischen Juden und…


(3,600 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas
Die Kabbala (hebr. kabbala, wörtl. Empfang, verstanden als Annahme oder Überlieferung einer esoterischen Tradition) ist die bedeutendste Ausformung der jüdischen Mystik. Seit ihrem Entstehen im Mittelalter erfuhr sie innerhalb des Judentums – und seit der frühen Neuzeit zunehmend auch von außerhalb – vielfältige Umformungen und Ausdeutungen. Während sie im Humanismus als jüdisch-philosophisches Paradigma modellhaft wurde, wiesen sie die Vertreter der Hask…


(3,927 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas
Kabbalah (Hebr.  kabbala, literally “reception,” understood as the adoption or transmission of an esoteric tradition) is the most important form of Jewish mysticism. From its origins in the Middle Ages, it has undergone manifold transformations and interpretations within Judaism – and since the early modern era increasingly from the outside. Although it was exemplary as a Jewish-philosophical paradigm within humanism, the representatives of the Haskalah and even more of the Wissenschaft des Judent…
Date: 2019-12-16

Molitor, Franz Joseph

(297 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas
[German Version] (Jun 8, 1779, Oberursel, Taunus – Mar 23, 1860, Frankfurt am Main), late Romantic philosopher of religion and the author of the last major outline of a “Christian Kabbalah” (III) in the tradition of G. Pico della Mirandola and J. Reuchlin. Molitor studied law and philosophy with those close to of Isaak Sinclair, G.W.F. Hegel, F.W.J. Schelling, and J. v. Görres, and worked as a teacher from 1807 to 1828, notably at the Jewish Philanthropin in Frankfurt. In 1808, he was one of the f…

Kircher, Athanasius

(2,663 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas B.
Kircher, Athanasius, * 2 May 1602 (Geisa/Röhn), † 27 Jan 1680 (Rome) Kircher was one of the great universal scholars of the 17th century. His life is well documented in early biographies. His comprehensive education began with his theologian father's homeschooling in music, Latin, geography and mathematics. From his tenth year, Kircher attended a series of Jesuit schools, firstly in Fulda, where he learnt Hebrew from a rabbi, then in Mainz. In 1618 he entered the Jesuit order as a novice in Paderborn, where…

Knorr von Rosenroth, Christian

(1,240 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas B.
Knorr von Rosenroth, Christian, * 15/16 Jul 1636 (Alt-Raudten/Schlesien), † 4/8 May 1689 (Groß-Albershof bei Sulzbach) Knorr von Rosenroth studied theology, philosophy, medicine, classical and modern languages at the University of Leipzig, from 1655 to 1660. In 1659 he joined the “Deutschgesinnte Genossenschaft” of Philipp von Zesen (1619-1689). From 1663 to 1666 he made an educational journey through the Netherlands, France, and England. In April 1663 he enrolled at the University of Leiden as a student of the…


(1,981 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas | Dan, Joseph
[German Version] I. Philosophy of Religion – II. Jewish Kabbalah – III. Christian Kabbalah I. Philosophy of Religion Since c. 1200, Kabbalah has been the designation for Jewish mysticism (III, 2). According to the name, the term Kabbalah means “reception” or “tradition”: the reception of an orally transmitted, esoteric knowledge concerning the “secrets of Scripture” ( rasin de oraita; sitre tora). The material that can be considered Kabbalah can be described in terms of (a) the philosophy of religion or phenomenology, or (b) history. A phenomenologica…


(2,370 words)

Author(s): Kilcher, Andreas B. | Theisohn, Philipp
Literature as the Medium of Revelation, Revelation as Form of Literature Literature, understood in its literal meaning as written text, has always had a central function for religion in the process of revelation and → tradition. At the same time, literature has essentially been motivated and constituted by this function as well. All of the more extensive religious traditions, especially the ‘revelatory religions’ or the ‘religions of the book’ (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), are build upon processes of lit…


(3,981 words)

Author(s): Tamari, Ittai J. | Kilcher, Andreas B.
In jüdischen theosophischen und kabbalistischen Vorstellungen von der Antike bis in die Neuzeit wurde das hebräische Alphabet ( Alef-Bet) nicht nur als graphisches Repräsentationssystem der hebräischen Sprache (Hebräisch) aufgefasst, sondern galt auch als Träger von symbolischen und metaphysischen Bedeutungen. Mit der Heiligkeit (Kadosh) der hebräischen Buchstaben korrespondierte die Stellung von Schreibern heiliger Texte in Antike und Mittelalter, aber auch die Entwicklung von Drucklettern (Buchdruck). Vor dem H…

Jewish Influences

(11,826 words)

Author(s): Leicht, Reimund | Dan, Joseph | Kilcher, Andreas B. | Hanegraaff, Wouter J.
Jewish Influences I: Antiquity The nature and extent of contacts between ancient Judaism and the assortment of sources commonly labelled “Gnostic” (or more recently “biblical demiurgical”, see Williams) is one of the most fiercely debated issues in Gnostic studies. This, however, is a relatively new phenomenon. The Church Fathers localized the origins of the Gnostic movement in Palestine (→ Simon Magus, Dositheus), but the adherence to a Gnostic sect was never seen as a relapse to something Jewish. For centuries, → Gnosticism was seen predominantly as a Christian heresy. Modern rese…