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568 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 21:4 OCT 1983 of God? (b) Does the distinction between the divine persons entail their separation in Being? (c) What is the relation of the world to (world?) Soul? The fourth paper of this Part, as well as two papers of the following, are rather broad in scope. Specifically, the paper of Norris Clarke contends that, no matter how many things Neoplatonism and Christianity have in common, there is one doctrine on which they definitely disagree, "the doctrine of the realism of ideas," (p. 1~6) which Clarke traces from Plato via Plotinus, Early Church Fathers, Eriugena and Scholastics to the 14th Century nominalism of Ockham. E. P. Mahoney's study deals with the influence of the Neoplatonist commentators on a number of Renaissance Aristotelian thinkers such as Vernia and Nifo. On the other hand, M. de Gandillac compares two leading 15th Century philosophers, Nicholas of Cusa and Marsilio Ficino, in their Neoplatonic aspects. Although the interests of these two men were somehow different, they both utilized Neoplatonic insight to formulate their favorite doctrines, that is, Trinity or Incarnation and the immortality of the Soul respectively. The collection ends with two essays coming from the authoritative pens of A. H. Armstrong and J. N. Findlay. Interestingly both papers consider Neoplatonism in its relation to Absolutism, but from different perspectives. Armstrong sees Neoplatonism , with its mystical (or rather mythical, i.e., "iconic" employment of language) approach to God, as the only way out of the present crisis, "the breakdown of Absolutes" (p. 215). On the other hand, Findlay views Neoplatonism as a positive contribution to what he calls "Absolute theory." Since he believes that the Neoplatonic Absolute is superior to the Christian Absolute in a number of points, which he specifies (pp. 225-3o), Findlay calls upon other Christians to embrace it. It may be unfortunate, but it seems very likely that Professor Findlay's call will remain "a voice calling in the desert." Christos Evangeliou Emory University David S. Katz. Philo-Semitismand the Readmissionof theJews toEngland 16o3-1655. New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1982. Pp. viii + 286. $39.95 This excellent historical study of the development of interest and concern about Jewish ideas, customs and peoples in England in the first half of the seventeenth century has some fascinating material of interest to historians of ideas. David Katz of Tel Aviv University has studied the rise of philo-semitism in England in this period amongst theologians, philosophers, politicians and ordinary citizens, and found much new source material. He follows the story up to its culmination in the inconclusive deliberations of the members of the Whitehall conference in late 1655, appointed by Cromwell to consider the petition of Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel of Amsterdam , the self-appointed agent for the Jewish world, asking for legal permission for Jews to reside in England. (The philosopher-theologian, Ralph Cudworth of Cambridge, was one of the members of the Whitehall conference.) Katz starts with the first indications of Judaizing in England amongst the Tras- BOOK REVIEWS 569 kites, those who became convinced that the Fourth Commandment regarding keeping the Sabbath had not been abrogated by the coming of Jesus. He follows this with a chapter entitled, "Babel Reversed: The Search for a Universal Language and the Glorification of Hebrew." Here, dealing with theories about the original language of mankind, Katz shows that much of the discussion throughout the seventeenth century up to Leibniz and Wilkins, centered around the importance of Hebrew as the ur- and pure language, with philosophical and mystical properties. By putting the discussions in the actual context of the times, the various linguistic theories become much more intelligible, and even plausible in terms of the assumptions of the time. The flourishing of Hebrew studies in England takes on an additional dimension, as part of this quest, rather than just a movement whose goal was to read the Old Testament in the original. The rest of Katz's study puts the interest in Judaism in its more important context of the time, the imminent expectation of the Millenium. Jewish learning and wisdom would help learned scholars to interpret the prophecies in the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 568-569
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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