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date: 25 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The academic study of Jewish philosophy and theology is bedevilled by definitional and methodological ambiguities. There are scholars who hold that the very concept of Jewish philosophy is dubious. For if by its nature philosophy addresses universal truth-claims, then it cannot be modified by any delimiting national, ethnic, or religious attribute. The multivalent character of the concept of Jewish thought, designed to complement the rather circumscribed notion of Jewish philosophy, eventually led to the establishment at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem of two separate but parallel departments: the Department of Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah, and the Department of the History of Jewish Thought. The former tended to limit its purview to medieval sources, emphasizing rigorous philological and text-critical methods. The latter had a pronounced preference for the methods of intellectual history and had a larger thematic scope.

Keywords: theological systems, Kabbala, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jewish thought, Jewish philosophy

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