For anyone who studies Kabbalah, it is clear that that subject’s most relevant cognate discipline is psychology. In Jungian terms, the lists and diagrams of collective archetypes made by Jung and, particularly, his student Erich Neumann, overlap as much as 80% on the subject listings of kabbalistic lexicons from the sixteenth century to the present. Gershom Scholem, the organizer of the field, often averred that Hasidism, the leading expression of Jewish mysticism in modernity, was distinguished by its imbuing of metaphysical ideas with internalized, psychological resonance. Now Jonathan Garb has come to move the calendar back and show that the psychological content of kabbalistic writing asserts itself far earlier than once thought.

Garb locates the resonance of psychic contents in kabbalistic writing in the realm of soul theories as they coalesced in early...

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