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The Idea Of Beauty In Leone Ebreo (Judah Abravanel)

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Chapter Summary

The concept of beauty is a crucial issue in Leone Ebreos Dialoghi damore, a text renowned for an unusual emphasis on sensuality and the positive assessment of sexuality. Beauty for Leone Ebreo is not only a spiritual principle that belongs to the highest echelons of being, it rather transcends the entire creation, universally acts as a mediating and moving agent and is therefore inextricably linked to the physical reality of the body. In fact, love caused by beauty allows the universe to unfold, and thus to effect the divine plan of creation. Philones passionate love is thus merely one of the numerous manifestations of the universal attraction generated through beauty and love. Leone says that love for the beautiful causes the urge to reproduce that beauty; in order to become meaningful, love has to result in sexual intercourse and in the begetting of a child.

Keywords: beauty; Dialoghi damore; divine plan; intercourse; Leone Ebreo; sensuality; sexuality; spiritual principle

10.1163/ej.9789004167186.i-490.77
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