The opinions of the rebel in the Mostrador de Justicia (Master of Justice) by Abner of Burgos

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Abner of Burgos (ca. 1260 - post 1347, became Christian in 1321) was one of the prominent Jewish rabbi apostates in the beginning of the 14th century. In his principal polemical book Mostrador de Justicia (Master of Justice), he describes a religious debate between the Christian master and a Jewish rebel. This article examines the different opinions taken on by this Jewish role. We see that despite the fact that the rebel uses only Jewish opinions in philosophy and theology, he contradicts himself many times. The main reason for these contradictions is that the rebel uses in the same subject philosophical opinions. For example, the rebel uses simultaneously Aristotelian and traditional definitions of the divine. He also claims, (like Maimo- nides) that miracles cannot prove the truth of belief and at the same time try to prove the authority of the Talmud through the miracles that the sages of the Talmud performed. Abner therefore builds the rebel as a perfect Jewish protagonist. The rebel gathers the opinions of the major trend in the Spanish Jewish community of his time. However, this gathering lacks any coherent explanation of how these different opinions can stand together. This lack of coherence makes the work of the Christian master easier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Religious studies


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