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Isaac Orobio. The Jewish Argument with Dogma and Doubt

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Book Series: Studies and Texts in Scepticism ISSN: 2568-9614 ISBN: 9783110576191 Year: Volume: 2 Pages: 134 DOI: 10.1515/9783110576191 Language: English
Publisher: De Gruyter
Subject: Religion
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-14 18:42:56
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In this volume, six historians explore new approaches to Isaac Orobio de Castro (1617–1687), an Amsterdam physician who was the most widely-read among the early modern defenders of Judaism against Christian proselytizing. He was also the major author who rebutted Benedict Spinoza’s Freethought from inside his own Sephardic community. Reflecting on the developments in early modern studies that have appeared since the publication of Yosef Kaplan’s seminal monograph in 1982, the authors revisit Orobio’s intellectual personality with a focus on transcultural processes, clandestine book culture, philosophical rhetoric, and literary reception. Born in Portugal to Christian parents of Jewish ancestry, Orobio left behind a brilliant career as a court physician in Spain and France when he publicly embraced Judaism. With academic erudition, he translated Jewish religious positions into the eclectic philosophy of the day, using both rationalist and sceptic arguments. His work leaked out into the non-Jewish world and armed Enlightenment philosophers for their attacks on Christianity, showing the impact of Jewish criticism on the early modern quest for philosophical certainty and religious pluralism.

Farewell to Shulamit. Spatial and Social Diversity in the Song of Songs

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Book Series: Jewish Thought, Philosophy, and Religion ISSN: 2509-7431 ISBN: 9783110500882 9783110498875 Year: Volume: 2 Pages: viii, 170 DOI: 10.1515/9783110500882 Language: English
Publisher: De Gruyter
Subject: Religion --- The Bible
Added to DOAB on : 2017-08-28 16:06:59
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The Song of Songs, a lyric cycle of love scenes without a narrative plot, has often been considered as the Bible’s most beautiful and enigmatic book. The present study questions the still dominant exegetical convention that merges all of the Song’s voices into the dialogue of a single couple, its composite heroine Shulamit being a projection screen for norms of womanhood. An alternative socio-spatial reading, starting with the Hebrew text’s strophic patterns and its references to historical realia, explores the poem’s artful alternation between courtly, urban, rural, and pastoral scenes with their distinct characters. The literary construction of social difference juxtaposes class-specific patterns of consumption, mobility, emotion, power structures, and gender relations. This new image of the cycle as a detailed poetic frieze of ancient society eventually leads to a precise hypothesis concerning its literary and religious context in the Hellenistic age, as well as its geographical origins in the multiethnic borderland east of the Jordan. In a Jewish echo of anthropological skepticism, the poem emphasizes the plurality and relativity of the human condition while praising the communicative powers of pleasure, fantasy, and multifarious Eros.

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