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Prophetic Imagination. Figurations of Prophetic Knowledge in Jewish Philosophy and Exegesis

Subproject by Hanna Zoe Trauer

This project examines the representation of prophets in Jewish philosophy and exegesis in 14th–16th century Italy. It focuses on the status and characterization of prophets as well as the accessibility of revelation. It will analyze representations of prophets in regard to their various roles as scholars, philosophers, kings, judges or poets, as well as in relation to different revelatory mediums, such as orality and literality of prophecy, internal and external senses, interpretation or revaluation and respective authorizations of prophetic knowledge.

This project is interested in the dynamics of continuity and change apparent in the works of Jewish philosophers from this period (e.g. Immanuel of Rome, Judah Romano, Yohannan Alemanno, Leone Ebreo). These thinkers reflect an on-going dialogue with Renaissance-era Christian philosophers, earlier Islamic and Jewish philosophers (such as Ibn Sīnā, Ibn Rushd, Maimonides), as well as traditions of ancient Greek philosophy. By contextualizing Jewish traditions regarding prophets and prophetesses of the Tanach, the authors discuss their entanglement in the transfer of knowledge, e.g. in the form of dialogues with Sophia, theories concerning a Jewish origin of Platonic philosophy or the prophetic status of Aristotle.