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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines apocalyptic literature within the framework of “early Jewish mysticism” and compares early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic writings with rabbinic and Hekhalot materials. It begins by focusing on apocalyptic literature and the discourse of “mysticism” in religious studies before turning to continuity and rupture in the Jewish discourse of heavenly ascent. It then considers textuality and textual practice in the study of early Jewish mysticism as well as the patterns of similarity and difference between early Jewish and Christian apocalyptic literature and Jewish ascent texts from late antiquity, including Hekhalot literature. It concludes by highlighting the persistent gap between the literary artifacts that make up apocalyptic and Hekhalot literatures as well as differences in rituals and religious experience.

Keywords: apocalyptic literature, Jewish mysticism, religious studies, heavenly ascent, textuality, Hekhalot literature, religious experience, textual practice, rituals

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