Isaac Abarbanel's Stance Toward Tradition: Defense, Dissent, and Dialogue

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SUNY Press, Sep 20, 2001 - Religion - 320 pages
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Financier and courtier to the kings of Portugal, Spain, and Italy and Spanish Jewry’s foremost representative at court at the time of its 1492 expulsion, Isaac Abarbanel was also Judaism’s leading scholar at the turn of the sixteenth century. His work has had a profound influence on both his contemporaries and later thinkers, Jewish and Christian. Isaac Abarbanel’s Stance Toward Tradition is the first full-length study of Abarbanel in half a century. The book considers a wide range of Abarbanel’s writings, focusing for the first time on the dominant exegetical side of his intellectual achievements as reflected in biblical commentaries and messianic writings. Author Eric Lawee approaches Abarbanel’s work from the perspective of his negotiations with texts and teachings bequeathed to him from the Jewish past. The work provides insight into the important spiritual and intellectual developments in late medieval and early modern Judaism while offering a portrait of a complex scholar whose stance before tradition combined conservatism with creativity and reverence with daring.
 

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Contents

Life and Contexts
9
Works and Traditions
27
To The Help of the Lord Against the Mighty Ateret zeqenim
59
Rabbinic Legacy Background and Parameters
83
The Rabbinic Hermeneutic Midrash in the Biblical Commentaries
93
In Search of Classical Jewish Eschatology Yeshuot meshiho
127
Historical Thinking Critical Reading and the Study of Classical Jewish Texts
169
Abarbanel and Tradition Six Trends
203
Notes
217
Bibliography
287
Index
313
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Eric Lawee is Assistant Professor of Humanities at York University.

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