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Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira, Midrash and

(10,199 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
The book of Jesus ben Sira, the so-called Ecclesiasticus or Siracides, considered in Jewish and Protestant tradition to be apocryphal, but in the Catholic Church to be an authentic biblical book, is very peculiar in the history of the biblical canon with regard to its use and understanding in midrashic and talmudic tradition. Composed as a book of proverbs and maxims, it claims to be an ethical tribunal not only for Israel's contemporary society but also for its past. Ben Sira is one of the firs…

Anthropomorphism

(2,629 words)

Author(s): Löhr, Gebhard | Podella, Thomas | Veltri, Giuseppe | Ess, Josef van | Körtner, Ulrich H.J. | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Bible – III. Judaism – IV. Islam –V. Philosophy of Religion – VI. Dogmatics – VII. Practical Theology I. Religious Studies Anthropomorphism denotes the conception of God or gods in human form. It derives from the personification of spir…

Modena, Leone

(179 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (Leone Modena da Venezia; 1571, Venice – 1648, Venice). Modena enjoyed a broad education, including Italian literature, music, and song. His family's precarious finances forced him to make a living in various occupations: in his autobiography, he lists 26 different activities. His primary profession, however, was intellectual: he was a writer, teacher, and preacher. Running counter to the fashion of his period, he severely criticized the Kabbalah and defended the teaching of M. Maimonides. His apologetic Magen va-Her…

Holy Scriptures

(1,139 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Veltri, Giuseppe | Drecoll, Volker Henning | Graham, William A.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Judaism – III. Christianity – IV. Islam I. Religious Studies Any kind of written document relating to a religious symbol system (Symbols/symbol theory) can be considered a holy Scripture. The existence of a written text as a criterion is a convenient starting point for a systematic orientation within the variety of religious texts produced throughout history. The process of reducing something to written form always implies more or less distanced reflection on what …

Eupolemos

(197 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] was a Hellenistic Jewish historiographer whose work, Concerning the Kings in Judea, is preserved fragmentarily i…

Philosophy, Jewish

(4,134 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. Definition The combination of the terms Judaism and philosophy suggests two distinct but deeply related issues: the place of Judaism in the history of philosophy and the emergence of a distinctive “Jewish” philosophy. Viewed historically, the compound Jewish philosophy points to a process of cultural debate between Greek “philosophy” and thought shaped by Jewish religion and culture, during which the two were often treated as irreconcilable. The question of the existence and nature of “Jewish philosophy” was first r…

Hecataeus of Abdera

(198 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] The philosopher and historiographer Hecataeus was a contemporary of Alexander the Great and of Ptolemy I (Jos. Apion. I 183; Ptolemaic Dynasty). In his famous book, Aegyptiaca, Hecataeus deals with part of Jewish history, as well as Jewish customs, religion and military matters (fragments in Diodoros Siculus XL 3). Josephus cites Hecataeus's essay On the Jews ( Apion. I 183ff., cf. I 214), although its authenticity is doubted. According to Josephus, in this essay, Hecataeus deals with the relationship of the J…

Menasseh ben Israel

(185 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (1604, Madeira – 1657, Middelburg, Netherlands), rabbi, author and printer, who lived mostly in Amsterdam. Menasseh was a theologian of Judaism who knew how to use secular and rabbinic knowledge in defense of Judaism. In 1626 he founded the first Jewish printing works in Amsterdam. He published a number of writings which were intended to appeal to non-Jews as well as Jews ( De creatione, 1635; De resurrectione mortuorum, 1636; De fragilitate humana, 1642). He was seen as an intellectual representative of the Jewish people, and was in contact with H. Grotius and Rembrand…

Astrology

(3,924 words)

Author(s): Thiede, Werner | Koch, Klaus | Hübner, Wolfgang | Veltri, Giuseppe | Kiener, Ronald C. | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religions – II. Biblical – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Judaism – V. Practical theology I. History of Religions 1. Term . Astrology is the functional use of quantitative astronomical observations and calculations in the service of a qualitative cosmic and anthropological interpretation of the heavens. Inasmuch as the first of these two elements has not yet been, or is minimally, …

Rome

(11,156 words)

Author(s): Koch, Guntram | Cancik, Hubert | Veltri, Giuseppe | Wallraff, Martin | Schimmelpfennig, Bernhard | Et al.
[German Version] I. History and Archaeology 1. History and archaeology. On a favorable site, on the road from Etruria to Latium and Campania, at a ford over the Tiber about 30 km from its mouth, and also on the road from the coast going in the direction of the Apennines, and in fertile lands by the river, there were small settlements from at…

Moscato, Judah

(162 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (c. 1530, Osimo – c. 1593, Padua), one of the most important rabbis of the Renaissance. When the expulsion of the Jews commanded by Pius V in 1569 (Persecutions of Jews) forced Moscato to leave Osimo, he became the official preacher of the Jewish community in Padua and in 1587 its chief rabbi. His approach was eclectic. In addition to his rabbinic training, he mastered several secular disciplines – medicine, music, astronomy, rhetoric, and Jewish and Classical philosophy. He combined Kabbalah with neoplatonic ideas (Neoplatonism: III). His works include

Italy

(7,951 words)

Author(s): Beck, Rolf K. | Schneider, Helmuth | Paoli-Lafaye, Elisabeth | Ricca, Paolo | Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] I. General – II. History and Sociology I. General Since 1861 (the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy), Italy has been the name of the first unified nation on the Italian peninsula since the Lombard invasion in 568. Following a referendum in 1946, Italy became a republic (Repubblica Italiana) with a bicameral parliament. The president is the representative chief of state; the government is headed by the prime minister. Since 1870, with the dissolution of the Papal States, the capital has been Rome (population 2.7 million in 2000). Italy has an area of 187,179 km2, with…

Hospitality

(2,520 words)

Author(s): Pezzoli-Olgiati, Daria | Wilson, Walter T. | Dell, Katharine | Koenig, John | Leppin, Volker | Et al.
[German Version] I. History of Religion – II. Ancient Near East – III. Greco-Roman Antiquity – IV. Old Testament – V. New Testament – VI. Church History – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. History of Religion “Hospitality” refers to the customs that regulate the temporary admittance of a stranger to a particular group. This aspect can be well illustrated, for instance, with the Greek term for hospitality, ϕιλοξενία/ philoxenía (the “welcoming of a stranger”). The host protects the guest from the numerous perils to which he or she is exposed in his precarious status and guarantees his livelihood for a limited span of time; the guest accepts the ¶ …

Feasts and Festivals

(7,156 words)

Author(s): Borgeaud, Philippe | Otto, Eckart | Veltri, Giuseppe | Schramm, Tim | Wiggermann, Karl-Friedrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Old Testament – III. Judaism – IV. Early Christianity – V. Church History – VI. Liturgical and Practical Aspects I. Religious Studies The words “feast” and “festival” (cf. fête, festa, fiesta, Fest, etc.) derive from the Latin festus ( dies). They refer to the calendar and also evoke the notion of the divine: a feast day is a special day set aside and dedicated to a certain supernatural being. “Feast” or “festival” can therefore be understood as synonyms for religious celebrations. To speak,…

Magic

(9,806 words)

Author(s): Wiggermann, Franciscus A.M. | Wiggermann, F.A.M. | Betz, Hans Dieter | Baudy, Dorothea | Joosten, Jan | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. Antiquity – III. Bible – IV. Church History – V. Practical Theology – VI. Philosophy of Religion – VII. Judaism – VIII. Islam I. Religious Studies No definition of magic has as yet found general acceptance. Approaches that go back to the late 19th century (E.B. Tylor, J.G. Frazer) view magic as a primitive cognitive system, the lowest rung on an evolutionary ladder (Evolution) that progresses with religion and science (cf. also Myth/Mythology: I). Magic in this view is characterized by the assumption of mechanical cosmic laws, knowledge of which enables the magician to tinker with the condit…

Lilith

(254 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] is the name of a female demon (Demons and Spirits: II) of Babylonian/Sumerian origin that is mentioned only once in the Bible in Isa 34:14. From a philological and tradition-historical point of view, the name Lilith cannot be deciphered with certainty (“night demon”?). In analogy to the Babylonian demon Labartu or Lamashtu, the endangering of pregnant women and the killing of newborn children are attributed to her. The Babylonian Talmud particularly emphasizes her sexual curiosity (Lilith as the seductress of men) and her position within demonology

Judah Loew

(191 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (of Prague; 1525 – Aug 12, 1609, Prague), known as “the Maharal” (“our rabbi, Rabbi Loew”), distinguished himself as a teacher of the Talmud and as a rabbi. Judah's legendary life is historically attested for the period from 1559 to 1573 in which he was the rabbi of Nikolsburg and the chief rabbi of Moravia. In 1573, he moved as a private individual to Prague, where he became the head of the school Die Klaus. After the visit of the German emperor Rudolf II, Ju…

Aristeas, Letter of

(376 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] We know Aristeas only through a “precise report” ( diḗgēsis) concerning the causes and circumstances of the translation of the LXX for the (fictive) Philokrates. Though the description of events forms the framework of the letter (occasion for the translation: 1ff.; Philadelphos's request to the high priest Eleazar and positive response: 9–11; 28–51…

Luzzatto, Samuel David

(131 words)

Author(s): Veltri, Giuseppe
[German Version] (acronym: Shadal; Aug 22, 1800, Trieste – Sep 30, 1865, Padua), Orthodox Jewish scholar. Luzzatto was an expert at combining biblical and general learning. In 1829 he was appointed professor of Bible, grammar, Jewish history, and theology at the Collegio Rabbinico Italiano in Padua, a position he held until his death. He rejected Hellenistic philosophy, the intellectualism of M. Maimonides, and the rationalism of B. de Spinoza, but also the Kabbalah. He ¶ is noted for his work as a Bible translator and his editions of medieval poetry. Giuseppe Veltri Bibliography I. Luzzatto, Index raisonné, 1878 idem, Catalogo ragionato, 1881 P. Nissim, “Bibliografia,” Rassegna mensile di Israel 32, 1966, 212–225 G. Tamani, “‘Manoscritti autografi’,” Rassegna mensile di Israel 43, 1977, 122–132 T. Lehnardt, BBKL V, 1993, 494–499.
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