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The Spanish Tradition: Hebrew Studies And Kabbalistic Influence

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Chapter Summary

The extreme hostility directed at the Salamanca Hebraists prompts one to consider the extent of their dependence upon Hebrew scholarship and more particularly upon kabbalistic notions. Such influence that the author finds appear somewhat pale when set in comparison, say, with Postel's own editing of kabbalistic texts. Their frequent abuse of the Salamanca Hebraists as conversos may well indicate the real and markedly Spanish reason for the hostility to scholarship which was felt to be unacceptably judaising. This hostility was materially to affect the reception of the Antwerp Polyglot and provides the background to the work of Benito Arias Montano in Antwerp. In considering the antecedents in Spain of the Christian kabbalism that is a clear feature of Fray Luís de Léon's work and that of the other unfortunate Hebraists, one may conveniently begin with Ramón Martin.

Keywords: Antwerp Polyglot; Benito Arias Montano; Christian kabbalism; Fray Luís de Léon; Hebrew scholarship; Salamanca Hebraists; Spanish tradition



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