Law and Apocalypse: The Moral Thought of Luis De León by Karl A. Kottman

By Karl A. Kottman

This booklet has reasons. the 1st is obviously old, the second one is extra philosophical and interpretive. Its good fortune within the former can be much less controversial than its attainment of the latter. The contribution to the heritage of Spanish letters is composed in significantly constructing the truth that the assets of Fray Luis de Le6n's ethical and non secular suggestion are Hebraic and that he will be visible to face as one in an extended line of Christian Hebraists, either scholastic and humanist. His philosophical perspectives are forged in an Hebraic culture, no longer in an Hellenic one as intended via approximately some other commentator. i've got under pressure the presence of a residing Hebrew tradition in Spain after 1492, and i've urged that this and the Jewish parentage of Fray Luis are very major. i've got additionally pointed out an highbrow debt Fray Luis owed to non-Jewish Orientalists equivalent to Egidio da Viterbo and Girolamo Seripando. yet, even they realized from exiled Spaniards. i would like to provide Fray Luis as a so much attribute philosopher on the earth of Baroque Spain. i feel such a lot will trust the image i've got defined. The extra audacious point is my desire to exhibit the significance of the Jewish historical past as present in the literary and philosophical creation of this awesome genius. it's, after all, my rivalry that this day understand­ ledge approximately Fray Luis and what he stood for is very important.

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See: Robert Ricard, "Le Symbolisme de 'Chateau Interieur' chez Saint-Therese," Bulletin Hispanique (Bordeaux), LXVII (1965), pp. 25-41. Sta. Teresa de Jesus, Obras Completas, (Madrid: Biblioteca de Autores Christianos, 1954), II, p. 341. " This allegory is a prophetic allegory and is distinguished by the cabalists from another kind of allegory, a mystical one of spiritual morality. " Another mode of interpretation is the "Derasha" or legalistic one. These, with the literal reading and a method of number equivalence called gematria, give five possible exegetical tools.

The Law, then, is the living name of God. Scholem says that the idea that the Law is a structure with life is older than Spanish cabalism. The idea that the Torah is a name and that the name is like a living organism was later established by the rabbis of Gerona (near Barcelona, Spain). In the Zohar of Moses of Leon (d. 1305), the main cabalistic text, the Torah is called a tree with branches, roots, trunk, etc. From this idea, another cabalist of the time declared that the Torah is a body with head, heart, mouth, and other members.

It is not without interest to note that a writing of Vicente Ferrer of 1414, gives some indication of his position. In his Tractatus contra Perfidiam Judaeorum, written at Tortosa, he gives as one of the signs that Christ has come the fact that the Jews no longer have a priesthood and sacrifice, temple, feasts, etc. This he says is a sign that the Old Law is no longer in effect since a priest is a minister of the law. With the cessation of the law, there is a cessation of its function, in this case the priesthood of the Old Law.

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