Prophecy: The History of an Idea in Medieval Jewish by Howard Kreisel

By Howard Kreisel

More than the other subject, prophecy represents the purpose at which the Divine meets the human, absolutely the meets the relative. How can a individual reach the notice of God? In what demeanour does God, while conceived as everlasting and transcendent, handle corporeal, transitory creatures? What occurs to God's divine fact whilst it really is beheld by means of minds constrained of their strength to recognize, and encouraged by means of the highbrow currents in their time and position? How have been those matters considered by way of the nice Jewish philosophers of the previous, who took the divine verbal exchange and all it includes heavily, whereas while wanted to comprehend it up to humanly attainable during facing a myriad of alternative matters that occupied their attention?

This e-book bargains an in-depth examine of prophecy within the considered seven of the major medieval Jewish philosophers: R. Saadiah Gaon, R. Judah Halevi, Maimonides, Gersonides, R. Hasdai Crescas, R. Joseph Albo and Baruch Spinoza. It makes an attempt to seize the `original voice' of those thinkers by way of the highbrow milieus within which they constructed their philosophies, and via conscientiously interpreting their perspectives of their textual contexts. It additionally offers with the relation among the sooner techniques and the later ones. total, this booklet provides an important version for narrating the background of an concept.

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And trans . ] (Jerusalem: American Academy for Jewish Research, 1966) : 23. An English translation of the introduction to this commentary was published by Moshe Sokolow, "Saadiah Caori's Prolegomenon to Psalms", PAAJR , 51 (1984) : 131-74. 6 Ibid . 4. R. Saadiah's theory of knowledge has been explored in studies by Israel Efros and Abraham Heschel in JQR, 33 (1942): 133-70,265-313. 7 Ibid. 4 (Kafih, 13; Rosenblatt, 15) . 8 Ibid. 5. 30 CHAPTER ONE: R. SAADIAH GAON In light of his theological convictions, R.

Even those who wrote philosophic treatises and went on to write commentaries, Gersonides being a good example of this phenomenon, appear to alter their manner of thinking as they move from one genre to the next. I will make reference to the commentaries of the thinkers whose works are covered in this study to the extent I feel they are important for understanding certain developments in their thought. 12 The broader cultural (as well as social) context in which the treatises were written is not one upon which I dwell in the present study.

This issue too is su bordinate to o ther concerns, primarily to th e problem of God's esse nce, and secon darily to the probl em of the divine law. Most of hi s remarks on the nature of prophecy occur in th e section on the un ity of Go d . They are formulated to meet so me of the challe nges to h is co nceptual app ro ach . Overall , the p roblem of Nahum Glatzer ed . (Philadelphia: J ewish Pu bli catio n Society, 1974) : 246 68 . THE BOOK OF B ELIEFS A N D O PINI ONS 33 "what" exactly is prophecy is of no gr eater concern to him in th e tr eatise than the problems of "why" is there prophecy, "h ow" is it verified, the proper understanding of th e prophetic m essages , an d th eir r elation to th e co ncl us ions based upon r ati onal speculation.

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