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Body Of Conversion And The Immortality Of The Soul: The “Beautiful Jewess” Sara Copio Sullam

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Chapter Summary

Sara Copio Sullams ability to bring into focus in and through her life one of the main Christian and Jewish topics of seventeenth century in an exemplary fashion: namely conversion and identity is more fascinating. In this, her exceptional physical beauty and artistic gifts played a great role, as a paradigm of philosophical discussion about the immortality of the soul. It was a contemporary accepted tenet that aesthetics is but the expression of divine world. That this understanding of aesthetics was moored on pillars of Christian religious philosophy is not really touched on until the discussion on the immortality of the soul and eternity of matter. Two elements in the sadly short life of Sara are of importance for this question: her correspondence with Genoese priest Ansaldo Ceb, from which a platonic love relationship blossomed, and her contest with the archdeacon of Treviso and later bishop of Capodistria, Baldassarre Bonifaccio.

Keywords: Ansaldo Cebà; archdeacon of Treviso; Christian; conversion; divine world; eternity; immortality; Jewish; Sara Copio Sullam; soul



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