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Abraham Abulafia and the Pope: An Account of an Abortive Mission [אבדהס אבולעפיה והאפיפיוד — משמעותו וגילגוליו של נסיון שנכשל]

Abstract

Abraham Abulafia's attempt to meet the pope has preoccupied several scholars who have given various explanations to the aim of this meeting. The present study describes the event which preceded this attempt and interprets it in a new way. According to this explanation, Abulafia was interested in a discussion with the pope on Judaism as it was understood by Abulafia, namely, a religion which focuses upon the completion of the names of God. Abulafia might have been aware of a similar train of thought in Franciscan circles, where meditation on the name of Jesus was coming into vogue.

The misinterpretations of some scholars of Abulafia's mission are discussed, and the history of the false conception, according to which Abulafia met the pope and accepted Christian views in order to save his life, are traced.

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