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Grant number: FA-57726-14

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Gregory Blair Kaplan
University of Tennessee, Knoxville (Knoxville, TN 37996-0001)

Saul Levi Morteira, Spinoza's Enlightened Rabbi: A Critical Edition of Obstaculos y oposiciones contra la religion christiana

My project sheds new light on the intersection between Dutch Christian Hebraism and Jewish apologetic writing, and situates Saul Levi Morteira (c. 1596-1660), the rabbi and teacher of Baruch Spinoza (1632-77), as a bridge between rabbinic thought in the nascent Dutch Republic and the political concepts of Spinoza. The project consists of a translation and scholarly introduction to an unedited work composed in Spanish by Morteira around 1630, Obstáculos y oposiciones contra la religión christiana en Amsterdam (Arguments Against the Christian Religion in Amsterdam). I examine this work as a rabbinic manifestation of the respublica Hebraeorum (Hebrew republic) genre that reflects Morteira's awareness of (and possible participation in) early seventeenth century philosophical dialogues, and that speaks to his religious agenda by expressing a democratic motif that influenced the radical thought of Spinoza.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Comparative Religion; Jewish Studies; Philosophy of Religion

Fellowships for University Teachers

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$25,200 (approved)
$25,200 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2015 – 12/31/2015