This is an integrated study of the revival of philosophical studies in 16th-century central-European Jewry focusing on seven major thinkers and especially on the intellectual development of Ephraim Luntshitz (1550-1619).
Preoccupation with philosophy is traced through Moses Isserles, Solomon Luria, Mordecai Jaffe, Abraham Horowitz, Eliezer Ashkenazi, Maharal of Prague, and Ephraim Luntshitz. Analysis of these thinkers’ intellectual affiliations is based on close analysis of their primary texts, of which a generous selection is provided in translation for the first time.
This work advances the scholarly study of 16th-century Polish-Jewish culture, the Polish Jewish Renaissance, the philosophical interests of Ashkenazic Jewry, Jewish responses to Renaissance humanism and the Reformation, and the early-modern background for the 18th-century Jewish Enlightenment.
Leonard Levin, Ph.D. in History of Ideas (Brandeis 1973) and Jewish Philosophy (JTS, 2003), is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary, New York. He writes and translates on constructive theology and the history of Jewish thought.
Table of contents
Chapter One Circles of Influence: Polish Jewish Thought in the Age of the Late Renaissance
Chapter Two The First Wave (1550–1580): Isserles, Jaffe, and Horowitz
Chapter Three Young Ephraim: Ephraim’s Early Outlook as Expressed in City of Heroes
Chapter Four The Debate Between Eliezer and Maharal
Chapter Five Ephraim Discovers Philosophy (Gleanings of Ephraim—1590)
Chapter Six The Quest of Reason: The Outlook of the Precious Ornament (Part 1)
Chapter Seven Return To Origins: The Outlook of the Precious Ornament (Part 2)
Appendix: The Polish Jewish Renaissance: A Source-Book
Index of Subjects and Cited Authors
Scholars and students of Jewish thought and culture.