Divine contractions: Theism gives birth to idealism

Tyron Goldschmidt, Samuel Lebens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The first part of the article presents three little arguments from theism to idealism. The second part employs these arguments to make sense of a puzzling doctrine of Jewish mysticism: the doctrine of divine contraction (Heb. tzimtzum).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-524
Number of pages16
JournalReligious Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
. Earlier drafts of this article were presented to reading groups at the Center for Philosophy of Religion at Rutgers University, and the D Society at Cambridge University. Thanks to all who attended, raised insightful questions, and made useful suggestions. Samuel Lebens’s research for this article was supported by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton World Charity Foundation, Inc.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2018.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies
  • Philosophy


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