Beyond Faith: Belief, Morality and Memory in a Fifteenth-Century Judeo-Iberian Manuscript


In Beyond Faith: Belief, Morality and Memory in a Fifteenth-Century Judeo-Iberian Manuscript, Michelle M. Hamilton sheds light on the concerns of Jewish and converso readers of the generation before the Expulsion. Using a mid-fifteenth-century collection of Iberian vernacular literary, philosophical and religious texts (MS Parm. 2666) recorded in Hebrew characters as a lens, Hamilton explores how its compiler or compilers were forging a particular form of personal, individual religious belief, based not only on the Judeo-Andalusi philosophical tradition of medieval Iberia, but also on the Latinate humanism of late 14th and early 15th-century Europe. The form/s such expressions take reveal the contingent and specific engagement of learned Iberian Jews and conversos with the larger Iberian, European and Arab Mediterranean cultures of the 15th-century.

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Michelle M. Hamilton, Ph.D. (2001), University of California, Berkeley, is Associate Professor of Spanish at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She has published extensively of the literatures and cultures of medieval Iberia, including Representing Others in Medieval Iberia (Palgrave, 2007). She is co-editor of the forthcoming In and Of the Mediterranean: Medieval and Early Modern Iberian Studies (Vanderbilt, 2014).
"...Along with the contemporary scholars whom Hamilton frequently cites, her book provides a wide and deep understanding of the figures on whom the discussion touches. Her intention and execution are excellent... Hamilton has restored to Iberian history a distinctive group of influential scholars whom biographical study long missed."
Arthur M. Lesley (Independant Scholar), Renaissance Quarterly, Volume LXIX, No. 1
Acknowledgements ix
List of Illustrations xi

Introduction xii

1 Prooftexts: God and Knowledge in the Visión deleitable 1
2 The Polemics of Sacrifice: Isaac and “Nuestro Padre” Abraham 58
3 Material and Translation: The Jewish Tradition and Fifteenth-Century Humanism 88
4 The Art of Memory and Forgetting: The Judeo-Andalusi and Scholastic Traditions 136
5 The Wisdom of Seneca: Humanism and the Jews 166
6 The Place of the Dead: The Vernacular Dance of Death and the Legacy of the Judeo-Iberian Middle Ages 205

Conclusion: Textual Truths 249

Bibliography 255
Index 289
Specialists, post-graduates interested in Iberian history and culture; Jewish history; Religious Studies; manuscripts and material culture, and institutes and academic libraries.