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Title: The metaphysical meaning of the name of God in Jewish thought : a philosophical analysis of historical traditions from late antiquity into the Middle Ages
Author: Miller, Michael T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5354 2487
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2014
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The Name of God has formed a crucial element of Jewish thought throughout its history, from the Biblical text, through the rabbinic and kabbalistic writings and into the modern age when the topic has still been a focal point for Jewish philosophers. The purpose of this study is to examine the texts of Judaism, especially those within the mystical tradition, pertaining to the Name of God, and to offer a philosophical analysis of these as a means of understanding the metaphysical role of the name generally, in terms of its relationship with identity. While the materials are historical, the aim is a speculative re/construction of a systematic philosophical approach to naming from these materials. Beginning with the formation of rabbinic Judaism in Late Antiquity, I will progress through the development of the motif into the Medieval Kabbalah, where the Name reaches its grandest and most systematic statement – and the one which has most helped to form the ideas of Jewish philosophers in the 20th Century. This will highlight certain metaphysical ideas which have developed within Judaism from the Biblical sources, and which present a direct challenge to the paradigms of western philosophy. Thus a grander subtext is a criticism of the Greek metaphysics of being which the west has inherited, and which Jewish philosophers often subject to challenges of varying subtlety; it is these philosophers who often place a peculiar emphasis on the personal name, and this emphasis seems to depend on the historical influence of the Jewish metaphysical tradition of the Name of God.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BM Judaism ; BT Doctrinal theology