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Kabbalah and Ecology


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Notes on translation, transliteration, and bibliography; Overview of Kabbalah and Ecology; Introduction. Jewish ecological thought and the challenge for scriptural theology; Part I. Midrash: 1. Tselem Elohim (God's image) in Midrash and commentary, part 1: the angels and the heavens, the chain of Being, intellect and speech; 2. Tselem Elohim in Midrash and commentary, part 2: the body, gender, dominion, and ethics; 3. Tselem, dignity, and the 'infinite value' of the other; 4. The soul and the others: humans, animals and other subjectivities; 5. Ethics and the others: moral fellowship with animals and beyond animals; Intermediate conclusions: from Midrash to Kabbalah; Part II. Kabbalah: 6. Tselem Elohim in Kabbalah, part 1: the Sefirot, the soul and body, the hypostases, and the heavens; 7. Tselem Elohim in Kabbalah, part 2: the more-than-human world - holism and unifications, trees, birds, animals, and colors; 8. Of rocks, names, and codes: the letters of Creation; 9. Adam Qadmon: the universe as God's image; 10. Gaia, Adam Qadmon, and Maimonides; 11. Qomah: the stature of all beings; Intermediate conclusions: from Kabbalah to ecotheology; Part III. Ecotheology: 12. Nigun, Shirah, the singing of Creation, and the problem of language; 13. Further theological reflections; Conclusions: a new ethos, a new ethics; Excursus 1. Nefesh and related terms; Excursus 2. The prayer of P'ri 'Ets Hadar; Appendix. The Sefirot, the Tree of Life, and a brief history of Kabbalah; Bibliography of primary Jewish sources; General index; Index of scriptural verses; Index of scriptural sources.

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Kabbalah and Ecology resets the conversation about ecology and the Abrahamic traditions.

About the Author

David Mevorach Seidenberg received his doctoral degree from the Jewish Theological Seminary for his work on ecology and Kabbalah and was ordained by both the Jewish Theological Seminary and Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. He also studied physics and mathematics at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, educational philosophy at Harvard University, Massachusetts, and social ecology at the Institute for Social Ecology, Vermont. He teaches Jewish thought in Europe, Israel and throughout North America, in communities and universities, and through his organization, neohasid.org, focusing on ecology and spirituality, Talmud, Maimonides, Kabbalah and Hasidic thought; on embodied Torah, dance and nigunim (Hasidic song); and on ecological and environmental ethics. In addition to scholarly articles, he was a contributing editor of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature, and his writing has been featured in The Jewish Daily Forward, Huffington Post, The Times of Israel, and the Los Angeles Jewish Journal.


'This book will be of interest in numerous disciplines, including Jewish studies, conservation and environmental studies, and religion. Recommended for all Jewish libraries.' David B. Levy, Association of Jewish Libraries News

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