Jewish Mystical Insights for Christian Anthropologists


Jewish Mysticism
Ontological Turn
Methodological Possibilianism
Critical Realism
Comparative Theology


The Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah, as reflected in ethnohistoric documents underwriting the beliefs and practices of contemporary neo-kabbalists, practitioners of shamanic Judaism, Jewitchery, and other para-Judaic spiritualities (including Hermetic Qabalah and Christian Cabala) illustrate a cosmological theory of “kabbalistic perspectivism” analogous to the Amazonian perspectivism reported by Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (1998). Consideration of kabbalistic perspectivism provides Messianic Jewish, gentile Christian, and other religiously committed anthropologists opportunity for practicing comparative theology. It also may serve as a model for developing “methodological possibilianism,” an ontologically-oriented complement to the epistemological model of critical realism popularized by Christian anthropologists Paul Hiebert and Charles Kraft.
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