At 12:35 PM 10/19/97 -0400, you wrote:
>There is a Renaissance interest in the Kabbalah. Reuchlin was among the
>interested parties; see Obereman, Roots of Antisemitism. Of course the
>exotic always has its appeal, like using hieroglyphs to decorate a
>restaurant (I could name one here in Baltimore which does that).
Of further interest might be this book review I came across perusing Alta
Vista. I pulled it off for a friend interested in Kabbalah, but it may be
of use in making the link between the Hebrew script and the Tarot. I
believe I took it direct from Yale's book review site, and if I break any
copyright in sharing this, I apologize.
Giordano Bruno and the Kabbalah: Prophets, Magicians, and Rabbis
Karen Silvia de León-Jones
288 pp. 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
In this major new interpretation of the thought of the heretical philosopher
Giordano Bruno (1548-1600), Karen de León-Jones depicts the influential
thinker as mystic and Kabbalist. She rejects the popular view of Bruno as
Hermetic magus--a position initiated by Frances Yates and widely accepted by
succeeding scholars. Bruno's interest in mysticism and the Kabbalah was not
merely intellectual or satiric, de León-Jones contends: a close look at his
study of the Kabbalah reveals him as a practicing believer.
This book sets Bruno's thought in the context of the widespread interest in
non-Christian religions in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy. His quest
for an alternative model to the strict spirituality of post-Reformation
churches, for a way to encompass both scientific and mystical views of the
universe, led Bruno to the Kabbalah. De León-Jones argues that Bruno's
dialogue Cabala del cavallo pegaseo (Kabbalah of the Pegasean Horse)
expressed his mystical, kabbalistic doctrine. For Bruno, the Kabbalah
reconciled science with theology and provided a biblical support for
theories such as metempsychosis that he wished to prove scientifically
through atomic theory and physiognomy. Balancing his mystical Cabala
dialogue with the Hermetic vein of his dialogue Spaccio della bestia
trionfante and the Neoplatonic emblems of De'li eroici furori, Bruno creates
a solid syncretic trilogy, as well as a strikingly modern apology for
scientific and philosophical debates still of interest today.
"This book presents a radically new view of Giordano Bruno. De León-Jones's
thesis is new and even startling."
Giuseppe Mazzotta, Yale University
Karen Silvia de León-Jones is chercheur at Centre d'Etudes
Franco-Italiennes, Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, University
Yale Studies in Hermeneutics
Joel Weinsheimer, general editor
A friend interested in Tarot also shares that the Tarot has always been
eclectic in nature, borrowing from a wide range of religious traditions. I
was afraid to ask many more questions, as I might have been forced to sit
for a reading.