Kabbalistic Ideas of 'the Beginning' in Italian Renaissance Cosmogonies
Brian Ogren is the Anna Smith Fine Assistant Professor of Judaic Studies at Rice University in Houston, Texas. His research focuses upon early modern Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah. He has published a monograph on notions of reincarnation in early modern Italy (Renaissance and Rebirth, Brill 2009), an edited volume on time and eternity in Jewish mysticism (Brill, 2015), and a number of articles on Jewish thought during the Italian Renaissance. He is fascinated by the flow of ideas amongst diverse intellectual communities, and has paid specific attention to intellectual discourse as a means of asserting authority and of forming identity.
This project focuses on ideas of creation in late fifteenth century Italian kabbalistic thought. Novel syntheses of philosophy and Kabbalah during this period introduced new ideas leading to early modernity, such as the infinity of the universe, the expansion of the cosmos, and the continual creation and destruction of worlds.