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’.
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