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Action, Intention, and the Search for the Good: Diana Lobel on Judah Ha-Levi, Baḥya ibn Paquda, and the Search for the Good

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Because of their religious and existential appeal, Judah Ha-Levi and Baḥya ibn Paquda are studied in circles otherwise opposed to the study of philosophy. Ha-Levi emphasizes correct actions, whereas Baḥya emphasizes intention and internalization. Diana Lobel shows how both thinkers adopted Islamic, especially Sufi, terms and ideas, but adapted them to their Jewish context, thus exemplifying Wolfson’s notion of “repercussions” rather than one-way “influences.” Her Quest for God and the Good contains broad scholarship but goes beyond it to the multi-cultural philosophical search over the ages for the truth and the good life.

Affiliations: 1: Ariel


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