« Albizzi, Bartolomeo Albo, Joseph Albrecht »

Albo, Joseph

ALBO, JOSEPH: The last noteworthy Jewish religious philosopher of the Middle Ages; b. at Monreal (125 m. e.n.e. of Madrid), Spain, about 1380; d. about 1444. He was one of the principal Jewish representatives at the disputation held in 1413 and 1414 at Tortosa, under the auspices of Benedict XIII., between selected champions of the Jewish and Christian religions, with the view of convincing the Jews, from the testimony of their own literature, of the truth of Christianity. About 1425, at Soria in Old Castile, he wrote his principal work of religious philosophy, Sepher ha-‘Iḳḳarim (“Book of the Roots,” i.e., “Fundamental Principles”). He finds three ideas fundamental in any religion, viz., God, Revelation, and Retribution. [In the idea of God he finds four secondary principles, unity, incorporeality, eternity, and perfection; in the second of his fundamentals he finds three secondary principles, prophecy, Moses as the unique prophet, and the binding force of the Mosaic Law; and from his third fundamental he derives secondarily the belief in the resurrection of the body.] He discusses also the distinguishing marks of the historic religions, attempting to prove that Judaism is differentiated from Christianity by its greater credibility and consonance with reason. Belief in a Messiah he considers an essential part not of Judaism, but of Christianity. There is a German translation of his work by W. and L. Schlesinger (Frankfort, 1844).

(G. Dalman).

Bibliography: M. Eisler, Vorlesungen über die jüdische Philosophie des Mittelalters, iii. 186-234, Vienna 1876; H. Gräts, Geschichte der Juden, 3d ed., viii. 168-178, Berlin, 1890, Eng transl., London 1891-98, A. Tänzer, Die Religions-Philosophie Joseph Albo’s, Frankfort, 1896; JE, i. 324-327.

« Albizzi, Bartolomeo Albo, Joseph Albrecht »
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