In the summer of 1280, the Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia attempted to meet Pope Nicholaus III in Rome. Lelli and Idel will discuss the history of the reception and the reformulation of various Kabbalistic currents in Italy from the 13th through the 16th century.


Moshe Idel is Max Cooper Professor in Jewish Thought in the Department of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University and Senior Researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute. In 1999 he received the Israel Prize for Jewish Thought and in 2002 the Emmet Prize. Among his publications are Old Worlds, New Mirror, On Jewish Mysticism and Twentieth-Century Thought, (Penn UP, 2010), Kabbalah: New Perspectives (Yale UP 1988), Absorbing Perfections: Kabbalah and Interpretation (Yale UP 2002), and Ben: Sonship and Jewish Mysticism (Continuum, 2007).


Fabrizio Lelli teaches at the Universities of Salento and Lecce. His research centers on the philosophical and mystical literatures of Jewish scholars working in Renaissance Italy. In this context, he has investigated the history of the transmission of Hermetic texts in medieval Jewish thought; the contacts between Jewish and Christian fifteenth-century biblical exegetes; the intellectual cooperation between Jewish and Christian Renaissance scholars interested in Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, as well as in Kabbalah.


Moderator: Teofilio Ruiz (UCLA)