Search results for: examination-of-pharisaic-traditions

Exame Das Tradi es Phariseas

Author : Uriel Da Costa
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The retrieval in 1990 of what is probably the sole surviving copy of Uriel da Costa's book, outlawed and burnt in 1624, is an almost miraculous boon for humanity. Da Costa's "Exame," supplemented by da Silva's "Tratado," merits a prominent place in the history of thought, Judaism and Portuguese Literature.

Examination of Pharisaic Traditions

Author : Uriel Da Costa
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The retrieval in 1990 of what is probably the sole surviving copy of Uriel da Costa's book, outlawed and burnt in 1624, is an almost miraculous boon for humanity. Da Costa's Exame, supplemented by da Silva's Tratado, merits a prominent place in the history of thought, Judaism and Portuguese Literature.

Amsterdam s People of the Book

Author : Benjamin E. Fisher
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The Spanish and Portuguese Jews of seventeenth-century Amsterdam cultivated a remarkable culture centered on the Bible. School children studied the Bible systematically, while rabbinic literature was pushed to levels reached by few students; adults met in confraternities to study Scripture; and families listened to Scripture-based sermons in synagogue, and to help pass the long, cold winter nights of northwest Europe. The community's rabbis produced creative, and often unprecedented scholarship on the Jewish Bible as well as the New Testament Amsterdam's People of the Book shows that this unique, Bible-centered culture resulted from the confluence of the Jewish community's Catholic and converso past with the Protestant world in which they came to live. Studying Amsterdam's Jews offers an early window into the prioritization of the Bible over rabbinic literature -- a trend that continues through modernity in western Europe. It allows us to see how Amsterdam's rabbis experimented with new historical methods for understanding the Bible, and how they grappled with doubts about the authority and truth of the Bible that were growing in the world around them. Amsterdam's People of the Book allows us to appreciate how Benedict Spinoza's ideas were in fact shaped by the approaches to reading the Bible in the community where he was born, raised, and educated. After all, as Spinoza himself remarked, before becoming Amsterdam's most famous heretic and one of Europe's leading philosophers and biblical critics, he was "steeped in the common beliefs about the Bible from childhood on."

The Retelling of Chronicles in Jewish Tradition and Literature

Author : Isaac Kalimi
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Isaac Kalimi reveals the history of the book of Chronicles from Hellenistic times to the beginning of critical biblical scholarship at the dawn of the 17h century. This comprehensive examination focuses, first and foremost, on the use of Chronicles in Jewish societies through the generations and highlights the attitudes and biases of writers, translators, historians, artists, exegetes, theologians, and philosophers toward the book. The reader is made aware of what the biblical text has meant and what it has “accomplished” in the many contexts in which it has been presented. Throughout the volume, Kalimi strives to describe the journey of Chronicles not only along the route of Jewish history and interpretation but also in relation to the book’s non-Jewish heritage (namely, Christianity), demonstrating the differences and distinctiveness of the former. In contrast, the majority of commentaries on Chronicles written from the mid-19th century to the present day have contained little or nothing about the application, interpretation, and reception history of Chronicles by Jews and Christians for hundreds of years.

Josephus in Modern Jewish Culture

Author : Andrea Schatz
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Josephus in Modern Jewish Culture offers pioneering studies of the intense and varied reception of the historian’s work in scholarship, religious and political debates, and in literary texts, from seventeenth-century Amsterdam to the “trials” of Josephus in the twentieth century.

Spinoza s Heresy

Author : Steven Nadler
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At the heart of Spinoza's Heresy is a mystery: why was Baruch Spinoza so harshly excommunicated from the Amsterdam Jewish community at the age of twenty-four? In this philosophical sequel to his acclaimed, award-winning biography of the seventeenth-century thinker, Steven Nadler argues that Spinoza's main offence was a denial of the immortality of the soul. But this only deepens the mystery. For there is no specific Jewish dogma regarding immortality: there is nothing that a Jew is required to believe about the soul and the afterlife. It was, however, for various religious, historical and political reasons, simply the wrong issue to pick on in Amsterdam in the 1650s. After considering the nature of the ban, or cherem, as a disciplinary tool in the Sephardic community, and a number of possible explanations for Spinoza's ban, Nadler turns to the variety of traditions in Jewish religious thought on the postmortem fate of a person's soul. This is followed by an examination of Spinoza's own views on the eternity of the mind and the role that that the denial of personal immortality plays in his overall philosophical project. Nadler argues that Spinoza's beliefs were not only an outgrowth of his own metaphysical principles, but also a culmination of an intellectualist trend in Jewish rationalism.

Rembrandt s Jews

Author : Steven Nadler
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There is a popular and romantic myth about Rembrandt and the Jewish people. One of history's greatest artists, we are often told, had a special affinity for Judaism. With so many of Rembrandt's works devoted to stories of the Hebrew Bible, and with his apparent penchant for Jewish themes and the sympathetic portrayal of Jewish faces, it is no wonder that the myth has endured for centuries. Rembrandt's Jews puts this myth to the test as it examines both the legend and the reality of Rembrandt's relationship to Jews and Judaism. In his elegantly written and engrossing tour of Jewish Amsterdam—which begins in 1653 as workers are repairing Rembrandt's Portuguese-Jewish neighbor's house and completely disrupting the artist's life and livelihood—Steven Nadler tells us the stories of the artist's portraits of Jewish sitters, of his mundane and often contentious dealings with his neighbors in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam, and of the tolerant setting that city provided for Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews fleeing persecution in other parts of Europe. As Nadler shows, Rembrandt was only one of a number of prominent seventeenth-century Dutch painters and draftsmen who found inspiration in Jewish subjects. Looking at other artists, such as the landscape painter Jacob van Ruisdael and Emmanuel de Witte, a celebrated painter of architectural interiors, Nadler is able to build a deep and complex account of the remarkable relationship between Dutch and Jewish cultures in the period, evidenced in the dispassionate, even ordinary ways in which Jews and their religion are represented—far from the demonization and grotesque caricatures, the iconography of the outsider, so often found in depictions of Jews during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Through his close look at paintings, etchings, and drawings; in his discussion of intellectual and social life during the Dutch Golden Age; and even through his own travels in pursuit of his subject, Nadler takes the reader through Jewish Amsterdam then and now—a trip that, under ever-threatening Dutch skies, is full of colorful and eccentric personalities, fiery debates, and magnificent art.

The Cambridge History of Judaism Volume 7 The Early Modern World 1500 1815

Author : Jonathan Karp
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This seventh volume of The Cambridge History of Judaism provides an authoritative and detailed overview of early modern Jewish history, from 1500 to 1815. The essays, written by an international team of scholars, situate the Jewish experience in relation to the multiple political, intellectual and cultural currents of the period. They also explore and problematize the 'modernization' of world Jewry over this period from a global perspective, covering Jews in the Islamic world and in the Americas, as well as in Europe, with many chapters straddling the conventional lines of division between Sephardic, Ashkenazic, and Mizrahi history. The most up-to-date, comprehensive, and authoritative work in this field currently available, this volume will serve as an essential reference tool and ideal point of entry for advanced students and scholars of early modern Jewish history.

Josephus s The Jewish War

Author : Martin Goodman
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An essential introduction to Josephus’s momentous war narrative The Jewish War is Josephus's superbly evocative account of the Jewish revolt against Rome, which was crushed in 70 CE with the siege of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Martin Goodman describes the life of this book, from its composition in Greek for a Roman readership to the myriad ways it touched the lives of Jews and Christians over the span of two millennia. The scion of a priestly Jewish family, Josephus became a rebel general at the start of the war. Captured by the enemy general Vespasian, Josephus predicted correctly that Vespasian would be the future emperor of Rome and thus witnessed the final stages of the siege of Jerusalem from the safety of the Roman camp and wrote his history of these cataclysmic events from a comfortable exile in Rome. His history enjoyed enormous popularity among Christians, who saw it as a testimony to the world that gave rise to their faith and a record of the suffering of the Jews due to their rejection of Christ. Jews were hardly aware of the book until the Renaissance. In the nineteenth century, Josephus's history became an important source for recovering Jewish history, yet Jewish enthusiasm for his stories of heroism—such as the doomed defense of Masada—has been tempered by suspicion of a writer who betrayed his own people. Goodman provides a concise biography of one of the greatest war narratives ever written, explaining why Josephus's book continues to hold such fascination today.

Judaism for Christians

Author : Sina Rauschenbach
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Menasseh ben Israel (1604–1657) was one of the best-known rabbis in early modern Europe. In the course of his life he became an important Jewish interlocutor for Christian scholars interested in Hebrew studies and negotiated with Oliver Cromwell and Parliament the return of the Jews to England. Born to a family of former conversos, Menasseh was versed in Christian theology and astutely used this knowledge to adapt the content and tone of his publications to the interests and needs of his Christian readers. Judaism for Christians: Menasseh ben Israel (1604–1657) is the first extensive study to systematically focus on key titles in Menasseh’s Latin works and discuss the success and failure of his strategies of translation in the larger context of early modern Christian Hebraism. Rauschenbach also examines the mistranslation of his books by Christian scholars, who were not yet ready to share Menasseh’s vision of an Abrahamic theology and of a republic of letters whose members were not divided by denomination. Ultimately, Menasseh’s plans to use Jewish knowledge as an entrée billet for Jews into Christian societies proved to be illusory, as Christian readers understood him instead as a Jewish witness for “Christian truths.” Menasseh’s Jewish coreligionists disapproved of what they perceived to be his dangerous involvement in Christian debates, providing non-Jews with delicate information. It was only a century after his death that Menasseh became a model for new generations of Jewish scholars.