Judah Moscato

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Judah Moscato was a Jewish Renaissance philosopher, whose writings combine the richness of the Jewish tradition of Bible, Talmud, philosophy-theology, and Kabbalah with neo-Platonic imagery then popular in Italy, especially in Florence. While his works treat numerous themes, including music, rhetoric, Jewish holidays, among many others drawn from Jewish texts, he saw himself primarily as a philosopher striving for intellectual perfection by uncovering elusive Platonic ideas from under various kinds of imagery. Like Marsilio Ficino and Georgio Veneto before him, Moscato used such neo-Platonic imagery to treat a vast number of subjects, including especially the mythologies of Jewish literature, as philosophical subjects with hidden intellectual meaning. Moscato also seems to have been influenced by Ficino’s notion of a prisca theologia, reflections of which appear in various traditions. Indeed, his meandering writing style that moves seamlessly between Jewish and classical Greek, Latin, and Italian sources reflects an openness to receiving truth from diverse sources. His interest in and promotion of Judah Halevi’s Kuzari helped propel that book, which is itself heavily Platonic, to the forefront of Jewish learning for hundreds of years to come.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy
EditorsMarco Sgarbi
StatePublished - 2015


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