Theology of nature in sixteenth-century Italian Jewish philosophy

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This paper focuses on several Italian Jewish philosophers in the second half of the sixteenth century and the first third of the seventeenth century. It argues that their writings share a certain theology of nature. Because of it, the interest of Jews in the study of nature was not a proto-scientific but a hermeneutical activity based on the essential correspondence between God, Torah, and Israel. While the theology of nature analyzed in the paper did not prevent Jews from being informed about and selectively endorsing the first phase of the scientific revolution, it did render the Jews marginal to it. So long as Jewish thinkers adhered to this theology of nature, Jews could not adopt the scientific mentality that presupposed a qualitative distinction between the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-570
Number of pages42
JournalScience in Context
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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