A Jew and his milieu : allegory, polemic, and Jewish thought in Sem Tob's Proverbios morales and Ma'aseh ha Rav

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dc.contributor.advisor Bailey , Matthew
dc.creator Zackin , Jane Robin
dc.date.accessioned 2010 -01 -26T22 :47 :57Z
dc.date.accessioned 2014 -02 -19T22 :37 :17Z
dc.date.available 2010 -01 -26T22 :47 :57Z
dc.date.available 2014 -02 -19T22 :37 :17Z
dc.date.created 2008 -12
dc.date.issued 2010 -01 -26T22 :47 :57Z
dc.identifier.uri http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6839
dc.description.abstract In this dissertation , I describe social , economic and political relations between Jews and Christians in medieval Europe before presenting the intellectual and religious context of Jewish life in Christian Spain . The purpose of this endeavor is to provide the framework for analyzing two works , one in Hebrew and one in Castilian , by the Spanish Jewish author Sem Tob de Carrión (1290 - c .1370 ) . Proverbios morales (1355 -60 ) , the Castilian text , is important to the Spanish literary canon because it is one of the first works of Semitic sapiential literature to be transmitted , in the vernacular , to a Christian public . However , it has generally been read by scholars of medieval Hispanic literature in isolation from his Hebrew writings . Given that Ma’aseh ha Rav (c . 1345 ) reveals essential aspects of his thought structure and intellectual milieu not found in Proverbios morales , it should be required reading for a thorough understanding of his worldview . In the Hebrew work , I draw parallels between the polemical language used by Sem Tob and historically documented ideological conflicts that took place among Jews in late medieval Spain and Provençe . Because it is written in a style that involves the weaving together of biblical quotations and allusions , the polemical language must be read in relation to the biblical contexts to which these allusions refer . When analyzed in this way , allegory pertaining to the ongoing dispute among Jews about philosophy and scriptural interpretation , and rebuttals of Christian truth claims , become apparent . Additionally , kabbalistic references and messianic allusions lend the work an esoteric character that sharply distinguishes it from Proverbios morales . This analysis of Ma’aseh ha Rav is used as a basis for comparing rabbinic and philosophical concepts that appear in both works . The general movement from opposition to unity that characterizes each text , and the ubiquitous “golden mean ,” link the two works conceptually , and underscore Sem Tob’s preoccupation with harmonizing contradictions on both the spiritual and social levels of existence . This aspect of his thought reflects the general intellectual climate of his milieu , which is characterized by the blending , or intertwining , of the main doctrines of medieval Judaism - -philosophy , mysticism , and Talmudic -traditionalism . en_US
dc.format.medium electronic
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.rights Copyright © is held by the author . Presentation of this material on the Libraries' web site by University Libraries , The University of Texas at Austin was made possible under a limited license grant from the author who has retained all copyrights in the works .
dc.subject Jewish -Christian relations en_US
dc.subject Proverbios morales en_US
dc.subject Ma'aseh ha Rav en_US
dc.subject Sem Tob en_US
dc.subject Medieval Spain en_US
dc.title A Jew and his milieu : allegory , polemic , and Jewish thought in Sem Tob's Proverbios morales and Ma'aseh ha Rav en_US
dc.description.department Spanish and Portuguese en_US
dc.type.genre Thesis
dc.type.material text
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_US
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_US
thesis.degree.discipline Spanish en_US
thesis.degree.grantor The University of Texas at Austin
thesis.degree.department Spanish and Portuguese en_US


A Jew and his milieu : allegory, polemic, and Jewish thought in Sem Tob's Proverbios morales and Ma'aseh ha Rav. Doctoral dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /6839 .

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