The mystical works of the main figure of German pietism, R. Eleazar of Worms, contain scattered references to various elements of his esoteric theology, one of the central subjects being the doctrine of the divine Presence or Glory which is characterized by R. Eleazar as 'the secret of secrets'. The present study seeks to explain the relationship between the hidden or transcendent aspect of the (upper) Glory, and the (lower) aspect which is manifest in the world. It is argued that the lower manifestation is a projection of the upper Glory and does not possess a divine ontology of its own. The lack of multiple divine powers in Eleazar's theosophic conception accords with his instructions regarding the intention of prayer, where physical prostration is directed at the manifest Glory while the intention of thought is directed exclusively at the essence of the divine being which is the upper Glory, at times termed 'the Creator'. The influence of this doctrine on later figures is then traced and an appendix is provided which presents an edition of an unknown version of his 'Laws Concerning the Glory'. This text underwent a later reworking and the variations in the text are telling of the development of thought within the circle following R. Eleazar of Worms.
|Translated title of the contribution||The Secret of Secrets": The Concept of the Divine Glory and the Intention of Prayer in the Writings of R. Eleazar of Worms|
|State||Published - 1994|