Philosophy in a Time of Crisis
Don Isaac Abravanel: Defender of the Faith
Routledge – 2002 – 214 pages
Series: Routledge Jewish Studies Series
The expulsion from Spain did not only result in the destruction and dispersion of Spanish Jewry but led to a crisis in Jewish faith. Don Isaac Abravanel provided a systematic treatment of the main philosophical and theological beliefs of Judaism in an attempt to resolve the inner doubts of his co-religionists. In their Italian exile his son Judah too recognized that Jews were now living in a new cultural world, but he forged a different road for Jews to pursue in their entry into the culture of the Renaissance. This book presents a picture of one family facing the challenges of a new era in Jewish history.
Part 1: Introduction 1. Isaac Abravanel, the Man and his Works 2. Hasdai Crescas and the Crisis of 1391 3. Crescas' Philosophical Legacy Part 2: Isaac Abravanel's Philosophy of Judaism 1. The Nature of Religious Belief 2. Creation of the World 3. Miracles 4. Prophecy 5. Divine Omniscience and Human Choice 6. Immortality of the Soul 7. Resurrection of the Dead 8. Divine Providence 9. The Messiah 10. Isaac Abravanel: Anti-rationalist, Mystic or Philosophical-Theologian? Part 3: "An Inheritance For Your Children" - Judah Abravanel 1. Jewish Philosophy in an Italian Key 2. "Judah in Exile" 3. The Circle of Love 4. "In the Beginning God Created Heaven and Earth" - A Neoplatonic Midrash Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index
Seymour Feldman is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, Rutgers University.