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Der Ursprung des Begriffes der besten aller möglichen Welten in der Metaphysik der Willensfreiheit zwischen Antonio Perez S.J. (1599-1649) und G.W. Leibniz (1646-1716)
This study investigates the origins of the concept of "the best of all possible worlds". It exemplifies the character of modern metaphysics, which thinks mainly in terms of freedom and possibility. The book contains three parts. The first part tries to reconstruct this concept both historically and systematically; it deals with the concept of possibility beginning with High Scholasticism. The second part investigates the origins of this idea in the Jesuit theory of "scientia media", which is concerned with human freedom and divine foreknowledge. The third part deals with the question, whether there is any necessity to choose the best - a main theme in late scholastic thought of the 17th century.
This investigation of a concept unknown before the time of Leibniz, reveals many new sources and fills a gap in the history of ideas.
A Study in Method and Content
In The Doctrine of God Dolf te Velde examines the interaction of method and content in three historically important accounts of the doctrine of God. Does the method of a systematic theology affect the belief content expressed by it? Can substantial insights be detected that have a regulative function for the method of a doctrine of God?
This two-way connection of method and content is investigated in three phases of Reformed theology. The first seeks to discover inner dynamics of Reformed scholastic theology. The second part treats Karl Barth’s doctrine of God as a contrast model for scholasticism, understood in the framework of Barth’s theological method. The third part offers a first published comprehensive description and analysis of the so-called Utrecht School. The closing chapter draws some lines for developing a Reformed doctrine of God in the 21st century.
Forests and State Power in Early Modern Spain, c.1500-1750
Roots of Empire is the first monograph to connect forest management and state-building in the early modern Spanish global monarchy. The Spanish crown's control over valuable sources of shipbuilding timber in Spain, Latin America, and the Philippines was critical for developing and sustaining its maritime empire. This book examines Spain's forest management policies from the sixteenth century through the middle of the eighteenth century, connecting the global imperial level with local lived experiences in forest communities impacted by this manifestation of expanded state power. As home to the early modern world's most extensive forestry bureaucracy, Spain met serious political, technological, and financial limitations while still managing to address most of its timber needs without upending the social balance.
The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Salmon ben Yeroham on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes). Karaite Texts and Studies Volume 5
Salmon b. Yeroham (fl. 930-960) – foundational figure in the Jerusalem school of Karaite exegesis – produced a substantial and influential corpus of polemical writing and biblical interpretation, including commentaries on Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Songs, Lamentations, Qohelet, Esther, Ruth, and Daniel. Asceticism, Eschatology, Opposition to Philosophy: The Arabic Translation and Commentary of Salmon ben Yeroham on Qohelet (Ecclesiastes) presents a first critical edition of the Judaeo-Arabic Qohelet commentary together with an annotated English translation. The introduction situates Salmon’s work in the history of Jewish Qohelet exegesis, explains Salmon’s method of translating Qohelet into Arabic, identifies his sources and discusses his method of interpretation. The main themes Salmon finds in “Solomon’s” book of wisdom – central themes in the early Karaite movement in general – will be explored at length, especially asceticism, eschatology, and an uncompromising opposition to reading “foreign books.”

"Robinson’s edition is exemplary...This volume is an important addition to any collection of Karaitica, medieval Jewish biblical exegesis and Judeo-Arabic studies."
Pinchas Roth, Tikvah Scholar at the NYU Tikvah Center
Yefet ben ‘Eli (fl. 960-1005) was the most prolific and influential biblical exegete in the Karaite tradition. He was possibly the earliest Jew to write a commentary on the entire Hebrew Bible, and his writings were cited and borrowed from by Karaites and Rabbanites alike, from his own time to the early modern period. Despite his importance, however, only a small percentage of his works have been published. The present volume makes available for the first time his commentary on Joshua, which includes an Arabic translation of this difficult book with full Arabic commentary. The story of Rachab, the “second circumcision,” the covenant with the Gibonites, and the Sun standing still are among the things that captured Yefet’s interest, who surveyed different views on these crux passages before presenting his own, very original exposition.
The Role of Exegesis in Early-Christian and Medieval Culture
From the beginning of the Christian era and throughout the Middle Ages, biblical interpretation was the field where theological, philosophical and political matters were discussed. At the same time Scripture’s interpretation required the exploration of hermeneutical positions about how a literal and a hidden meaning could be established and how they related to each other. Ranging from early-Christian concerns about the text of the Bible itself, via Carolingian biblical commentaries, and the ever more diverse interpretations from the twelfth century and onwards, to the literary implications of (Jewish) commentary, the articles in this volume examine biblical exegesis both as a discourse on theology, philosophy and politics, and as the context for discussions on its underlying interpretative principles.
Contributors are J. K. Kitchen, Katja Vehlow, Caroline Chevalier-Royet, Sumi Shimahara, Ian Christopher Levy, Pierre Boucaud, Elisabeth Mégier, Cédric Giraud, Wanda Zemler-Cizewski, Ineke van ’t Spijker, Eva De Visscher, Alexander Fidora, Frans van Liere, and Robert A. Harris.
The knowledge of papermaking spread slowly over Italy from the start of the thirteenth century. Scholarly interest in the history of Italian paper manufacture has concentrated especially on the earliest period. Research into paper from the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries has lagged somewhat behind. Watermarks are extremely important for investigating the origins of paper. This book offers high quality x-rays and descriptions of ca. three hundred Italian watermarks. A selection of paper produced in different areas of Italy is presented with an identification.
Essais sur la poésie française moderne
Comment participer à ce que la vie a de divin – si on ne croit plus en Dieu ? Comment lui donner une signification, si on la sent privée du fondement ontologique qui autrefois lui garantissait sa cohérence? Que deviennent enfin l’ espérance, et surtout la charité, dans un monde où la foi ne semble plus praticable ? Voici les questions que ce livre propose d’aborder, en étudiant cinq réponses apportées par la poésie moderne à la crise métaphysique qu’elle se voit contrainte d’affronter. Celle de Baudelaire, dont le rapport à la tradition chrétienne est resté profondément ambigu. Celle de Rimbaud, dont le projet poétique a remis en cause cette tradition au nom d’une réinvention de l’amour et d’une réintégration de l’être. Celle de Claudel, seul à avoir vécu la foi sans équivoque, mais au prix d’un refus péremptoire de bien des aspects de la pensée moderne. Celles, pour finir, de Louis-René des Forêts et d’Yves Bonnefoy, conscients l’un et l’autre de venir « après les dieux », ce dernier pourtant voulant identifier poésie et espoir, et affirmant avec insistance que « l’acte vraiment moderne est de vouloir fonder une vie ‘divine’ sans Dieu ».
Studies in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity
This book takes as its theme the related issues of calendar, chronology and worship, as they were conceived and practised in ancient Jewish and early Christian times.
After a general discussion of the way the three issues are related, there follow six chapters on the calendar, first the standard Jewish calendar, then the Qumran calendar (giving particular attention to the Book of Enoch and the Temple Scroll) and finally the Christian calendar - both the standard Christian calendar and that observed by the Montanists. Three chapters on chronology come next, one of them offering a chronological solution to a puzzling calendrical problem in the Dead Sea Scrolls, another relating Jewish eschatological expectations to New Testament teaching, and a third examining the chronological calculations of the Hellenistic Jew Demetrius, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Book of Jubilees. The three concluding chapters, on worship, include an investigation of the historical development of the Psalter and a careful survey of the relationship between ancient Jewish worship and early Christian.
The book discusses a variety of issues that arise in modern biblical, intertestamental and patristic study, some neglected, some very controversial, and throws new light upon them.