From calabria cometh the law, and the word of the lord from sicily: The holy land in the thought of Joachim of fiore and Abraham Abulafia

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Abstract

An anonymous Vita written in the years immediately following Joachim of Fiore's death presents him as an alter-Jeremiah or Ezekiel, a prophet of the exile. His life is described as a transmigration from the Holy Land, where he received his first revelation, to the monastery he founded in Fiore, or as a journey from exile to redemption. Calabria becomes the new Holy Land, blessed by the Holy Spirit. In contrast, the thirteenth-century Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia depicts Sicily as the place where prophecy will be renewed and the Messiah revealed. He refers to himself as Zachariah, the prophet of redemption, particularly in work in which his connection with Christians is emphasized. This article suggests that Abulafia adapted the Joachite teachings which he would have encountered in Sicily and southern Italy to a polemical dialogue with his Christian counterparts in an attempt to prove to them that he was the one who would bring the redemption and unification of Jews and Christians in a spiritual understanding of the divine Name.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-199
Number of pages13
JournalMediterranean Historical Review
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2005

Keywords

  • Abraham Abulafia
  • Calabria
  • Holy Land
  • Joachim of Fiore
  • Sicily

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