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Nadav Berman Shifman

1 Introduction 1.1 Jewish Thought and American Pragmatism: a Literature Review Harry Austryn Wolfson argued as early as 1911 that deep connections obtain between Jewish thought and classical American pragmatism ( CAP ). 1 After comparing what he considers to be the “Hellenized” thought of

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Edited by James A. Diamond and Aaron W. Hughes

The term “medieval” performs a great deal more intellectual work in modern Jewish Thought than simply acting as a referent to a particular historical era. During the nineteenth century, often for Jews who were increasingly alienated from their own tradition, the “medieval” functioned primarily as a bearer of identity in a rapidly changing and secular world. Each chapter in Encountering the Medieval in Modern Jewish Thought addresses a different return to the medieval, ranging from the Enlightenment to the contemporary period, that clothed itself in the language of renewal and of retrieval. The volume engages the full complexity and range of meaning the term “medieval” carries for modern Jewish Thought.

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Edited by Elena Namli, Jayne Svenungsson and Alana M. Vincent

In response to the grim realities of the present world Jewish thought has not tended to retreat into eschatological fantasy, but rather to project utopian visions precisely on to the present moment, envisioning redemptions that are concrete, immanent, and necessarily political in nature. In difficult times and through shifting historical contexts, the messianic hope in the Jewish tradition has functioned as a political vision: the dream of a peaceful kingdom, of a country to return to, or of a leader who will administer justice among the nations. Against this background, it is unsurprising that Jewish messianism in modern times has been transposed, and lives on in secular political movements and ideologies.
The purpose of this book is to contribute to the deeper understanding of the relationship between Jewish thought, utopia, and revolution, by taking a fresh look at its historical and religious roots. We approach the issue from several perspectives, with differences of opinion presented both in regard to what Jewish tradition is, and how to regard utopia and revolution. These notions are multifaceted, comprising aspects such as political messianism, religious renewal, Zionism, and different forms of Marxist and Anarchistic movements.

Editor-in-Chief Elliot R. Wolfson

The aim of the journal is to provide an international forum for Jewish thought, philosophy, and intellectual history from any given period. The emphasis is on high scholarly standards with an interest in issues of interpretation and the contemporary world. Articles are expected to cover philosophy, biblical studies, mysticism, literary criticism, political theory, sociology and anthropology.

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Edited by Elliot R. Wolfson, Christian Wiese and Hartwig Wiedebach

The series Jewish Thought and Philosophy aims to present new and original scholarship on Jewish thought and philosophy from the Middle Ages to the present day. Based on a broad concept of Jewish intellectual history, it covers medieval and modern halakhic thought, philosophical exegesis of the Bible, medieval and modern philosophy, theology, mysticism, political theory, Jewish social thought and ethics, including the interaction with non-Jewish thought. The focus is on high scholarly standards and innovative methodological approach. While monographs are preferred, excellent collected volumes exploring important aspects of Jewish intellectual history as well as editions and translations of essential texts are also welcome.

The series published an average of 2,5 volumes per year over the last 5 years.

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Dov Schwartz

The book describes a fascinating encounter between astrology and magic, exposing how Hermetic magic seeped into Jewish literature and Jewish philosophy. Following astral magic in its convoluted course, this original work sheds new light on rationalist Jewish thought in the Middle Ages. Having attained its authority mostly from its use in medical practice, astral magic also developed a theology and provided a key to biblical interpretation. Judah Halevi, Nahmanides, and others explained the meaning and influence of the commandments according to magic-astral models and techniques, generating a new perspective within medieval Jewish philosophy. The book is intended for scholars of philosophy, Jewish thought, astrology and magic, as well as for the general public with an interest in these areas.

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.

Dov Schwartz

IS IT POSSIBLE TO WRITE A HISTORY OF JEWISH THOUGHT?* Dov Schwartz Bar-Ilan University In the past few years, traditional scholars and would-be innovators have been locked in controversy over the scholarly study of Qabbalah. The Ž eld of Jewish philosophical thought, however, has witnessed no

This series is no longer published by Brill

Asher D. Biemann

136 book reviews “Jewish thought is a cultural practice, and that prac- tice generates compelling accounts of an identity steeped in material culture” (2–3). Ken Koltun- Fromm, whose previous books include a highly original study on Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity (2001) and a no less