All You Need Is LAV: Madonna and Postmodern Kabbalah

Madonna studies Kabbalah and integrates Kabbalistic themes in her recent cultural productions. Her video-clip promo to James Bond's ‘Die Another Day’, features the Hebrew letters LAV, which are, according to an ancient Jewish tradition, part of the 72 names of God. Madonna studies Kabbalah at t...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:The Jewish quarterly review
Main Author: Huss, Boaz
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: Penn Press 2005
In: The Jewish quarterly review
Year: 2005, Volume: 95, Issue: 4, Pages: 611-624
Further subjects:B Postmodern Kabbalah
B New Age
B Yehuda Ashlag
B 72 Names of God
B Madonna
B Philip Berg
B Kabbalah Center
B Postmodern Spirituality
B Contemporary Kabbalah
B Die Another Day
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Summary:Madonna studies Kabbalah and integrates Kabbalistic themes in her recent cultural productions. Her video-clip promo to James Bond's ‘Die Another Day’, features the Hebrew letters LAV, which are, according to an ancient Jewish tradition, part of the 72 names of God. Madonna studies Kabbalah at the Kabbalah center, the largest contemporary Kabbalistic group, headed by R. Philip Berg, who developed a postmodern version of the communist Kabbalah of the twentieth-century Kabbalist, R. Yehuda Ashlag. In the article, I claim that Madonna and the Kabbalah Center express a form of postmodern spirituality, that defies the modernist conception of “religion,” and dissolves the distinctions that construct this conception. The practices of the Kabbalah Center express several of the major characteristics of postmodern culture, offering a postmodern bricolage of elements taken from Kabbalah, Philosophy, Science, Movies, TV shows, and Pop-culture. Similar to Madonna's blurring of boundaries between religion and entertainment, the Kabbalah Center effaces these distinctions by integrating Madonna into the Kabbalah Center practices. Fredric Jameson has argued in “Postmodernism and the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” that postmodern culture is an expression of late, global (yet, American), multinational Capitalism, in which aesthetic production has become integrated into general commodity production. Similarly, I argue, the spiritual production today is integrated into global Capitalism's commodity production, and Madonna, the Kabbalah Center, as well as many other postmodern spiritual movements are part of the “spiritual logic of late Capitalism.”
ISSN:1553-0604
Contains:Enthalten in: The Jewish quarterly review
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1353/jqr.2005.0077