Saturday, February 3, 2018

Zohar Collector's Edition | Translated by Daniel C. Matt

Zohar Collector's Edition | Translated by Daniel C. Matt: "This limited edition set includes all twelve volumes of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition. Each volume is bound in tan- and butterscotch-colored cloth with foil stamping on the spine and blind stamping on the front. The volumes have been collected into four slipcases of matching tan cloth and blind stamping on each side of each case, with foil stamping on the back of the case and a ribbon for easy removal without damaging the book. Each book includes a letter-pressed and hand-numbered book plate, denoting the set number. Only 150 sets will be produced.

To celebrate the completion of the twenty-year project to translate The Zohar, Stanford University Press is pleased to offer a complete set of all twelve volumes of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance) has amazed readers ever since it emerged in Spain over seven hundred years ago. Written in a lyrical Aramaic, the Zohar, the masterpiece of Kabbalah, features mystical interpretation of the Torah, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.

The Zohar: Pritzker Edition volumes present the first translation ever made from a critical Aramaic text of the Zohar, which has been established by Professor Daniel C. Matt (along with Nathan Wolski and Joel Hecker) based on a wide range of original manuscripts. Every one of the twelve volumes provides extensive commentary, appearing at the bottom of each page, clarifying the kabbalistic symbolism and terminology, and citing sources and parallels from biblical, rabbinic, and kabbalistic texts.

About the authors

Daniel C. Matt is a leading authority on Jewish mysticism. For twenty years, he served as Professor at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He has also taught at Stanford University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Matt is the author of The Essential Kabbalah (1995), God and the Big Bang (1996), and Zohar: Annotated and Explained (2002). He is also the translator of the first nine volumes of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

Joel Hecker serves as Professor of Jewish Mysticism at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He has also taught at the University of Pennsylvania, Jewish Theological Seminary, and Yeshiva University. Hecker is the author of Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals: Eating and Embodiment in Medieval Kabbalah (2005) and the translator of Volume Eleven of The Zohar: Pritzker Edition.

Nathan Wolski is the Liberman Family Lecturer in Jewish Studies with the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, Monash University, Australia. He is the author of A Journey into the Zohar: An Introduction to the Book of Radiance (2010), and translator of Melila Hellner-Eshed's seminal work, A River Flows From Eden: The Language of Mystical Experience in the Zohar (Stanford, 2009)."

Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World | Maha Nassar

Brothers Apart: Palestinian Citizens of Israel and the Arab World | Maha Nassar: "When the state of Israel was established in 1948, not all Palestinians became refugees: some stayed behind and were soon granted citizenship. Those who remained, however, were relegated to second-class status in this new country, controlled by a military regime that restricted their movement and political expression. For two decades, Palestinian citizens of Israel were cut off from friends and relatives on the other side of the Green Line, as well as from the broader Arab world. Yet they were not passive in the face of this profound isolation. Palestinian intellectuals, party organizers, and cultural producers in Israel turned to the written word. Through writers like Mahmoud Darwish and Samih al-Qasim, poetry, journalism, fiction, and nonfiction became sites of resistance and connection alike. With this book, Maha Nassar examines their well-known poetry and uncovers prose works that have, until now, been largely overlooked. The writings of Palestinians in Israel played a key role in fostering a shared national consciousness and would become a central means of alerting Arabs in the region to the conditions—and to the defiance—of these isolated Palestinians. Brothers Apart is the first book to reveal how Palestinian intellectuals forged transnational connections through written texts and engaged with contemporaneous decolonization movements throughout the Arab world, challenging both Israeli policies and their own cultural isolation. Maha Nassar reexamines these intellectuals as the subjects, not objects, of their own history and brings to life their perspectives on a fraught political environment. Her readings not only deprovincialize the Palestinians of Israel, but write them back into Palestinian, Arab, and global history."


Tabari’s Qur’an Commentary, Comprehensive Exposition of the Interpretation of the Verses of the Qur’an, is one of the great monuments of classical Arabic and Islamic scholarship which, over a millennium, has been a fundamental reference work for scholars engaged in the tradition of Qur’ānic exegesis. This two-volume translation focuses on thirty selected verses and Sūras, or Chapters, associated with special merits and blessings and also includes Ṭabarī’s own introduction to the Comprehensive Exposition.

Volume I contains: Ṭabarī’s introduction; The Opening; the Throne Verse and the final three verses from The Cow (2:255 and 284–286); The Family of ʿImrān (3:7 and 18); Repentance (9:38–40 and 128–129); the story of Moses and al-Khaḍir from The Cave (18:60–82); the Verse of Light from The Light (24:35–42); Prostration; Yāʾ Sīn.

Volume II contains: The Companies (39:53–55); The Smoke; The Beneficent; The Inevitable Occasion; Iron; The Gathering (59:18–24); Sovereignty; The Resurrection; The Most High; The Sun; The Night; The Earthquake; The Chargers; Rivalry; The Disbelievers; Aid; Sincerity; Daybreak; People.

Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/923) is one of the most famous Muslim scholars of medieval Islamic civilization. He composed numerous books in Arabic in the fields of Islamic law, Qur’ān commentary and history. The only two large books of his to survive are his History of Messengers and Kings and his Qur’ānic commentary, The Comprehensive Exposition of the Interpretation of the Verses of the Qur’ān.

Scott C. Lucas is Associate Professor of Islamic Studies in the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona.

The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī (3 vols): An English Translation

Matthew S. Gordon, Miami University, Chase F. Robinson, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Everett K. Rowson, New York University, and Michael Fishbein, The University of California, Los Angeles

"The Works of Ibn Wāḍiḥ al-Yaʿqūbī contains a fully annotated translation of the extant writings of Abū al-`Abbās al-Ya`qūbī, a Muslim imperial official and polymath of the third/ninth century, along with an introduction to these works and a biographical sketch of their author. The most important of the works are the History (Ta’rikh) and his Geography (Kitab al-buldan). The works also contains a new translation of al-Ya`qubī’s political essay (Mushakalat al-nas) and a set of fragmentary texts drawn from other Arabic medieval works. Al-Ya`qūbī’s writings are among the earliest surviving Arabic-language works of the Islamic period, and thus offer an invaluable body of evidence on patterns of early Islamic history, social and economic organization, and cultural production."

Contributors: Laila Asser, Paul Cobb, Lawrence I. Conrad, Elton Daniel, Fred Donner, Michael Fishbein, Matthew S. Gordon, Sidney H. Griffith, Wadad Kadi (al-Qāḍī), Lutz Richter-Bernberg, Chase F. Robinson, Everett K. Rowson

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Sufism: A New History of Islamic Mysticism by Alexander Knysh

Sufism: After centuries as the most important ascetic-mystical strand of Islam, Sufism saw a sharp decline in the twentieth century, only to experience a stunning revival in recent decades. In this comprehensive new history of Sufism from the earliest centuries of Islam to today, Alexander Knysh, a leading expert on the subject, reveals the tradition in all its richness. Knysh explores how Sufism has been viewed by both insiders and outsiders since its inception. He examines the key aspects of Sufism, from definitions and discourses to leadership, institutions, and practices. He devotes special attention to Sufi approaches to the Qur’an, drawing parallels with similar uses of scripture in Judaism and Christianity. He traces how Sufism grew from a set of simple moral-ethical precepts into a sophisticated tradition with professional Sufi masters (shaykhs) who became powerful players in Muslim public life but whose authority was challenged by those advocating the equality of all Muslims before God. Knysh also examines the roots of the ongoing conflict between the Sufis and their fundamentalist critics, the Salafis—a major fact of Muslim life today. Based on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Sufism is an indispensable account of a vital aspect of Islam.