Obadiah Sforno: Light of the Nations

Or ʿAmmim / Lumen Gentium


Light of the Nations is a philosophical work written by the Jewish intellectual and eminent biblical commentator Obadiah Sforno (ca. 1475–1550). His treatise, an apology for both Jewish and universal monotheistic beliefs, was published in Hebrew in 1537 under the title Or ‘Ammim and was translated by the author into Latin as Lumen Gentium in 1548. Written in the style of a classical medieval Scholastic summa, the treatise’s multilingual and multicultural dimensions reveal key humanist ideas that prevailed in the cities of northern Italy during the early modern period, while also speaking to its author’s abiding exegetical rationality.

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Giuseppe Veltri, Ph.D. (1991) and Habil. (1996), Freie Universität Berlin, is Professor of Jewish Studies and Philosophy at Universität Hamburg. He has published extensively in the field, including Renaissance Philosophy in Jewish Garb (Brill, 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 Universität Hamburg.
Researchers of Jewish Studies, Jewish Philosophy, Biblical Exegesis, Renaissance Studies, Latin Studies, Aristotelianism and Averroism.
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