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In his De peccato originali (1679), Hadriaan Beverland (1650-1716) presented his thesis that sex was the original sin and a vital part of human nature. Building on contemporary insights into the history of the text of the Bible, he criticised the hypocritical attitudes among the religious and social elite of his day concerning the biblical text and sexual morality. The work became notorious in the seventeenth century and led to its author’s banishment. In the eighteenth century, it exerted considerable influence on the way in which many in Europe came to see sexuality.

This annotated edition with English translation also includes a comprehensive introduction that includes a contextualization of the De peccato originali and its impact.
The Debate on Sacred Scripture in Early Modern Thought
The Bible is the crucible within which were forged many of the issues most vital to philosophy during the early modern age. Different conceptions of God, the world, and the human being have been constructed (or deconstructed) in relation to the various approaches and readings of the Holy Scriptures. This book explores several of the ways in which philosophers interpreted and made use of the Bible. It aims to provide a new perspective on the subject beyond the traditional opposition “faith versus science” and to reflect the philosophical ways in which the Sacred Scriptures were approached. Early modern philosophers can thus be seen to have transformed the traditional interpretation of the Bible and emphasized its universal moral message. In doing so, they forged new conceptions about nature, politics, and religion, claiming the freedom of thought and scientific inquiry that were to become the main features of modernity.

Contributors include Simonetta Bassi, Stefano Brogi, Claudio Buccolini, Simone D’Agostino, Antonella Del Prete, Diego Donna, Matteo Favaretti Camposampiero, Guido Giglioni, Franco Giudice, Sarah Hutton, Giovanni Licata, Édouard Mehl, Anna Lisa Schino, Luisa Simonutti, Pina Totaro, and Francesco Toto.
Author:
In The Beginning of the World in Renaissance Jewish Thought, Brian Ogren offers a deep analysis of late fifteenth century Italian Jewish thought concerning the creation of the world and the beginning of time. Ogren’s book is the very first to seriously juxtapose the thought of the great Jewish thinker Yohanan Alemanno, Alemanno’s famed Christian interlocutor, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, the important Iberian exegete active in Italy, Isaac Abravanel, and Abravanel’s renowned philosopher son Judah, known as Leone Ebreo. By bringing these thinkers together, this book presents a new understanding of early modern uses of Jewish texts and hermeneutics. Ogren successfully demonstrates that the syntheses of philosophy and Kabbalah carried out by these four intellectuals in their quests to understand the beginning itself marked a new beginning in
Western thought, characterized by simultaneous continuity and rupture.
Classicist, Hebraist, Enlightenment Radical in Disguise
Author:
Over the course of thirty years, Hermann Samuel Reimarus (1694-1768) secretly drafted what would become the most thorough attack on revelation to date, ushering the quest for the historical Jesus and foreshadowing the religious criticism of the new atheism of the twentieth century. Peeling away the layers of Reimarus’s radical work by looking at hitherto unpublished manuscript evidence, Ulrich Groetsch shows that the Radical Enlightenment was more than just an international philosophical movement. By demonstrating the importance philology, antiquarianism, and Semitic languages played in Reimarus’s upbringing, scholarship, and teaching, this new study provides a vivid portrayal of an Enlightenment radical at the cusp of the secular age, whose debt to earlier traditions of scholarship remains undisputed.