IMC 2009: Sessions

Session 618: Anthropomorphism as Heresy in Jewish Medieval Philosophy

Tuesday 14 July 2009, 11.15-12.45

Organiser:Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University / Shalem Center, Jerusalem
Moderator/Chair:Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University / Shalem Center, Jerusalem
Paper 618-aWhy the Belief in God's Corporality is Heresy, According to Maimonides
(Language: English)
Esther Eisenmann, Open University of Israel, Jerusalem
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Philosophy, Theology
Paper 618-bFaith and Heresy among the Kabbalists of Gerona: R. Azriel and R. Jacob ben Sheshet
(Language: English)
Shoey Raz, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Islamic and Arabic Studies, Philosophy, Theology
Paper 618-cThe Controversy over Anthropomorphism: Rabbi Moshe Taku and the German Pietists
(Language: English)
Joseph Isaac Lifshitz, Goldstein-Goren Diaspora Research Center, Tel Aviv University / Shalem Center, Jerusalem
Index terms: Hagiography, Philosophy, Theology
Abstract

In Jewish writings in the middle ages we find contradictory sources relating to the subject of Anthropomorphism. The great Jewish philosophers like Seadia, Ibn Gabirol, and Maimonides, where famous for their criticism against anthropomorphism, perceiving it as heresy, wile Raavad and other Kabalists based on early mystical writings, spoke for anthropomorphism. Among them, some perceived a definition of a pure transcendent God, as heresy. Thus anthropomorphism became a core subject of controversy. In this session the papers will explore this controversy in the writings of Maimonides in the 12th century, and later in the early 13th century in the writings of the Kabbalists of Gerona and in the writings of the Rabbis of the Rhineland.