Hebraic Aspects of the Renaissance

Sources and Encounters


Christian Hebraism came to its full fruition in the seventeenth century. However, interest in Jewish and Hebraic sources had already increased during the early Renaissance, as an integral part of the renewed attention to ancient cultures, mostly Greek and Roman, as well as eastern cultures – from Egypt to India. This volume presents a selection of papers from the international conference Hebraic Aspects of the Renaissance (University of Haifa, May, 2009), that trace the humanist encounter with Hebrew and Jewish sources during that period. The chapters included in this volume not only illuminate the ways in which Christian scholars encountered Hebraic sources and integrated them into their general worldview, but also present the encounters of Jewish scholars with humanist culture.

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Ilana Zinguer is Professor Emerita in Renaissance French Literature and ex-Chair of The Center for the Study of French Civilization at the Univesity of Haifa. Her publications include discussions of French literature, emblems, women, travels, alchemy, medicine, Hebrew, and Hebraic sources of the Renaissance.

Abraham Melamed is Professor of Jewish Philosophy and Wolfson Chair for the Study of Jewish Cultural Heritage at the University of Haifa. He has published widely on medieval and Renaissance Jewish intellectual history and political philosophy.

Zur Shalev, Ph.D. (2004) in History, Princeton University, is researching and teaching early modern European history at the University of Haifa, Israel. He has published works on geography, cartography, travel, pilgrimage, Hebraism, and Orientalism.
"This excellent volume presents papers from a conference at the University of Haifa (2009) and serves as a companion to the ground-breaking expanded horizons of Jewish Renaissance scholarship led by Moshe Idel,
Robert Bonfil, and David Ruderman. It makes a positive contribution to the prior Baronian “anti-lachyrmose
historiography” Renaissance scholarship of C. Roth, M. A. Shulvass, A. Milano, and A. Lesley."

Dr. David B. Levy, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews (2012) Vol. 2, No. 1
Part I – Kabbalah and Mysticism
Giulio Camillo’s Memory Theatre and the Kabbalah
Lina Bolzoni
Entering the Labyrinth: On the Hebraic and Kabbalistic Universe of Egidio da Viterbo
Daniel Stein-Kokin
Whither Kabbalah? Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Kabbalah, and the Disputations against Judicial Astrology
Sheila J. Rabin
Part II – Philosophy and the Humanities
A - The Abravanel
A Paradigm in Isaac Abravanel's Encounter with Renaissance Culture
Cédric Cohen Skalli
Leone Ebreo’s Dialoghi d’amore as a Pivotal Document of Jewish-Christian Relations in Renaissance Rome
James Nelson Novoa
B - Philosophical Aspects
The Immortality of the Soul and Opening Up to the Christian World: A Chapter in Early Modern Jewish-Italian Literature
Alessandro Guetta
Authority vs. Authenticity. The Leiden Debate on Bible and Hebrew (1575-1650)
Arthur Eyffinger
C - Conversos, Language and Baroque
De la pureté de sang aux XVe et XVIe siècles
Annie Molinié et Béatrice Perez
L'implicite à propos des Juifs de Rome
Ilana Zinguer
Vers une sémiotique du Judaïsme à l'âge baroque
Georges Molinié
D - Literature
Moses Zacuto Poet of Kabbalah
Dvora Bregman
Le Rôle de la poésie Hébraïque dans l’enseignement de Charles Utenhove
Philip Ford
E - Hebraism and Geographical Thought
The Role of Early Renaissance Geographical Discoveries in Yohanan Alemanno's Messianic Thought
Fabrizio Lelli
Kabbale et cosmographie, de Guillaume Postel à Jacques d'Auzoles-Lapeyre
Frank Lestringant
Race, Antisemitism and the Renaissance in Fascist Italy
David Baum
This volume will be of interest to scholars of Renaissance humanism and of Christian Hebraism, to those who specialize in Judaic culture and inter-cultural exchanges, and to historians of early modern religion.
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