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The Gift of the Land and the Fate of the Canaanites in Jewish Thought$
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Katell Berthelot, Joseph E. David, and Marc Hirshman

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199959808

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199959808.001.0001

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Nahmanides on Law, Land, and Otherness

Nahmanides on Law, Land, and Otherness

(p.180) 7 Nahmanides on Law, Land, and Otherness
The Gift of the Land and the Fate of the Canaanites in Jewish Thought

Joseph E. David

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the legal theology of the thirteenth-century kabbalist and jurist Nahmanides, and proposes a new perspective about his conceptual and theological sources. It argues that, beside the mystical background, he also responded to legal and theological doctrines that pervaded in the European Christendom of his days. It shows that Nahmanides introduces an innovative notion of the halakhah as divine law, according to which the divine law is derivative to the deity's association to his territory in terms of feudal lordship. Nahmanides introduces a spatial, or a territorial, notion of halakhah that stands against the traditional perceptions of halakhah as a direct prescription.

Keywords:   legal theology, kabbalist, jurist, halakha, divine law

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