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Dogma in Medieval Jewish ThoughtFrom Maimonides to Abravanel$
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Menachem Kellner

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113218

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113218.001.0001

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Joseph Albo

Joseph Albo

Chapter:
(p.140) 5 Joseph Albo
Source:
Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought
Author(s):

Menachem Kellner

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113218.003.0006

This chapter discusses Joseph Albo. Albo wrote one of the most enduringly popular works of medieval Jewish philosophical theology, the Sefer ha-Ikkarim. The Sefer ha-Ikkarim, like Crescas's Or Adonai, is a broad-ranging conspectus of theological and philosophical discussions organized according to the author's dogmatic system. But, while only the framework of Crescas's work is determined by his system of principles, much of the content of Albo's work, at least in the first treatise, is given over to substantive discussions of principles of faith. Here, the apologetic intent of the work is evident from the outset. Although masquerading as a disinterested study of the principles of divine law in general, the Sefer ha-Ikkarim is a thinly disguised apology for Judaism. The Sefer ha-Ikkarim, therefore, seeks to explain ‘those principles which pertain to a divine law generally, principles without which a divine law cannot be conceived’.

Keywords:   Joseph Albo, Sefer ha-Ikkarim, Judaism, principles of faith, Jewish philosophical theology, dogmatic system, divine law

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