The Art of Conversion: Christianity and Kabbalah in the Thirteenth Century by Harvey Hames

The Art of Conversion: Christianity and Kabbalah in the Thirteenth Century by Harvey Hames

This book discusses Ramon Llull (ca. 1232-1316), the Christian missionary, philosopher and mystic, his relations with Jewish contemporaries, and how he integrated Jewish mystical teachings (Kabbalah) into his thought system so as to persuade the Jews to convert.

Issues dealt with include Llull’s attitude towards the Jews, his knowledge of Kabbalah, his theories regarding the Trinity and Incarnation (the Art), and the impact of his ideas on the Jewish community. The book challenges conventional scholarly opinion regarding Christian knowledge of contemporary Jewish thought and questions the assumption that Christians did not know or use Kabbalah before the Renaissance. Further, it suggests that Lull was well aware of ongoing intellectual and religious controversies within the Jewish community, as well as being the first Christian to acknowledge and appreciate Kabbalah as a tool for conversion.

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