The Literary and Philosophical Canon of Obadiah Sforno


The present volume contains articles based on papers delivered at the two international conferences organized as part of the Between Two Worlds research project in 2017 and 2019. Obadiah Sforno was an influential Jewish thinker of sixteenth-century Italian Renaissance, whose religious and exegetical authority has had an enduring legacy. The collected essays offer an unprecedented and much desired overview of his life and thought with an emphasis on the neglected philosophical dimension of his oeuvre, as seen in both his biblical commentaries and his sole philosophical treatise Light of the Nations.

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Giuseppe Veltri (Ph.D. and habilitation at FU Berlin [1991, 1996]) is a professor of Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Hamburg University. Among his publications are Rinascimento nel pensiero ebraico (2020); Discourse on the State of the Jews and in Particular Those Dwelling in the Illustrious City of Venice by Simone Luzzatto (2019); Socrates or On Human Knowledge. The Serious-Playful Exercise of Simone Luzzatto, Venetian Jews(2019); L’ebraismo come scienza. Cultura e politica in Leopold Zunz (with Libera Pisano) (2019); Alienated Wisdom. Enquiry into Jewish Philosophy and Scepticism (2018); and Renaissance Philosophy in Jewish Garb (2009).

Giada Coppola earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre in 2012.

Florian Dunklau, M.A., is a research associate in the project Premodern Hebrew Philosophic and Scientific Terminology (PESHAT in Context) at Hamburg University (2014-present).
Notes on Contributors

1 Obadiah Sforno: Between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Giuseppe Veltri

Part 1: Biography

2 Sforno on Wealth, Work, and Charity
Andrew Berns

3 Roman Holiday: Conjectures on Johann Reuchlin as a Pupil of Obadiah Sforno
Saverio Campanini

Part 2: Philosophy

4 “A Fourth Kind of Being”: The Legacy of Averroes in Obadiah Sforno’s Theory of the Intellect
Symon Foren

5 Averroes and Sforno on God’s Knowledge of Particulars
Steven Harvey

6 The Concept of Time in Sforno: The Philosophical and Exegetical Interpretation of the Creation of the World
Giada Coppola

7 Sforno on Intellectual imitatio Dei
Warren Zev Harvey

8 Between Two Versions: A Hebrew Manuscript and an Argument for Latin Priority
Florian Dunklau

Part 3: Exegesis

9 Job et les fins de la providence : exégèse, théologie systématique et cohérence de l’œuvre de R. Obadia Sforno
Jean-Pierre Rothschild

10 The Footprints and Influence of Or ʿAmmim in Sforno’s Exegetical Works
Moshe Kravetz

Part 4: Environment and Reception

11 Elijah da Nola and Moses Finzi: Medicine and Aristotelianism in Sixteenth-Century Bologna
Guido Bartolucci

12 The Philosophical Syntax of Obadiah Sforno’s Psalms Commentary
Yael Sela

Researchers of Jewish Studies, Jewish Philosophy, Biblical Exegesis, Renaissance Studies, Latin Studies, Aristotelianism and Averroism.
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