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Edited by Reimund Leicht and Giuseppe Veltri

This volume contains studies based on papers delivered at the international conference of the PESHAT in Context project entitled “Themes, Terminology, and Translation Procedure in Twelfth-Century Jewish Philosophy.” The central figure in this book is Judah Ibn Tibbon. He sired the Ibn Tibbon family of translators, which influenced philosophical and scientific Hebrew writing for centuries. More broadly, the study of this early phase of the Hebrew translation movement also reveals that the formation of a standardized Hebrew terminology was a long process that was never fully completed. Terminological shifts are frequent even within the Tibbonide family, to say nothing of the fascinating terminological diversity displayed by other authors and translators discussed in this book.

The Beginning of the World in Renaissance Jewish Thought

Ma’aseh Bereshit in Italian Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah, 1492-1535

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Brian Ogren

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.