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The Philosophy of Rabbi Shalom Schneersohn

Mysticism, Gender and Language
  • By Reuven Leigh
Product Description

Reuven Leigh provides the first in-depth introduction to the pioneering philosophy of Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneersohn. Bringing him into dialogue with key continental philosophers Emmanuel Levinas, Jacques Derrida and Julia Kristeva, this book reveals how Schneersohn's views anticipated many prominent themes in 20th-century thought.

Shalom Ber Schneersohn (1860-1920) was the fifth Rebbe of the Habad-Lubavitch dynasty. He was a traditional, kabbalistic thinker and yet, beyond mysticism, he wrote extensively on speech, gender and the body. So why is he not better known? Leigh begins by uncovering and contesting numerous scholarly assumptions that have operated to exclude traditional rabbinic thinkers from contemporary philosophical debates.

Seeking to correct this, this book offers a close reading of Schneersohn's 1898 discourses. With the disruption of traditional binary structures being the dominant theme pervading Schneersohn's work, Leigh engages with Levinas' provocative ideas on speech and the feminine. He also highlights how Derridean deconstruction involves a more positive approach to presence that was already anticipated in the writings of Schneersohn. And from the disruption of the hierarchy of signification to the semiotic aspect of language and the maternal body, this book demonstrates how Schneersohn foreshadows a number of Kristeva's central philosophical concerns.

A wide-ranging and inclusive volume, The Philosophy of Rabbi Shalom Ber Schneersohn demonstrates not only how forward-thinking Schneersohn's ideas were over a century ago, but how relevant they still are today.

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  • Additional Details
  • Additional Details
    Product Specs
    • SKU: 9781350341197
    • Manufacturer: BLOOMSBURY 3PL
    • ISBN 13: 9781350341197
    • Publication Date: 09/21/2023
    • Format: Hardcover
    • Author: Reuven Leigh

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