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Encyclopedia > Uriel da Costa

Uriel da Costa (ca. 1585 РApril 1640) or Uriel Acosta (from the Latin form of his Portuguese surname, Costa, or da Costa) was a philosopher and skeptic from Portugal. 1585 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar. ... Events December 1 - Portugal regains its independence from Spain and Jọo IV of Portugal becomes king. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Costa (meaning Coast) or da Costa (from the Coast) is a common surname in Portugal, Brazil and in other countries of Portuguese language. ... ... A philosopher is a person who thinks deeply regarding people, society, the world, and/or the universe. ... Skepticism (Commonwealth spelling: Scepticism) can mean: Philosophical skepticism - a philosophical position in which people choose to critically examine whether the knowledge and perceptions that they have are actually true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have absolutely true knowledge; or Scientific skepticism - a scientific, or practical...



Da Costa was born in Porto with the name Gabriel da Costa. He hailed from a converso family that had converted from Judaism to Catholicism in order to avoid the civil persecutions of Jews. A member of a devoutly religious family, his father had been a Catholic priest who was well-versed in Canon law. Oporto redirects here. ... Converso (Spanish and Portuguese for a convert, from Latin conversus, converted, turned around) and its feminine form conversa referred to Jews or Muslims or the descendants of Jews or Muslims who had converted to Catholicism in Spain and Portugal, particularly during the 1300s and 1400s. ... In general, conversion is the transformation of one thing into another. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... Look up Persecution in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In spiritual terminology, piety is a virtue. ... This article is about religious workers. ... Canon Law is the ecclesiastical law of the Roman Catholic Church. ...

Da Costa also occupied an ecclesiastical office. While a student of canon law, he began to read the Bible and contemplate it seriously. He was aware that his family had Jewish origins, and in the course of his studies, he began to consider a return to Judaism. After his father died, he began to very carefully reveal his newfound sentiments to his family. Ultimately, in 1617, the whole family decided to return to Judaism; they fled Portugal for Amsterdam, which would soon become a thriving center of the Sephardic diaspora. This Gutenberg Bible is displayed by the United States Library. ... For other uses, see Amsterdam (disambiguation). ... In the strictest sense, a Sephardi (ספרדי, Standard Hebrew Səfardi, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄ardî; plural Sephardim: ספרדים, Standard Hebrew Səfardim, Tiberian Hebrew Səp̄ardîm) is a Jew original to the... For other uses, see Diaspora (disambiguation). ...

However, upon arriving in the Netherlands, Da Costa very quickly became disenchanted with the kind of Judaism he saw in practice there. He came to believe that the rabbinic leadership was too consumed by ritualism and legalistic posturing. In 1624 he published a book titled An Examination of the Traditions of the Pharisees which questioned the fundamental idea of the immortality of the soul. Da Costa believed that this was not an idea deeply rooted in biblical Judaism, but rather had been formulated primarily by the Rabbis. The work further pointed out the discrepancies between biblical Judaism and Rabbinic Judaism; he declared the latter to be an accumulation of mechanical ceremonies and practices. In his view, it was thoroughly devoid of spiritual and philosophical concepts. For the town in Italy, see Rabbi, Italy. ... A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value, which is prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. ... Halakha (Hebrew: הלכה ; alternate transliterations include Halocho and Halacha), is the collective corpus of Jewish religious law, including biblical law (the 613 mitzvot) and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions. ... For other uses, see Book (disambiguation). ... The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning to separate) were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). ... This article is about living for infinite period of time. ... Rabbinic Judaism (or in Hebrew Yahadut Rabanit - יהדות רבנית) is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the written Torah as well as the Oral Law (the Mishnah, Talmuds and subsequent rabbinic decisions) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... Part of the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard in Whitehall, London. ... Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit. ...

The book became very controversial and was burned publicly. Da Costa was called before the rabbinic leadership of Amsterdam for uttering blasphemous views against Judaism and Christianity. He was fined a significant sum and excommunicated. For the black metal band, see Blasphemy (band). ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is... Cherem (or Herem חרם), is the highest ecclesiastical censure in the Jewish community. ...

He ultimately fled Amsterdam for Hamburg, Germany (also a prominent Sephardic center), where he was ostracized from the local Jewish community. He did not understand German, which further compounded his difficulties. Left with no place to turn, in 1633 he returned to Amsterdam and sought a reconciliation with the community. He claimed that he would go back to being "an ape amongst the apes"; he would follow the traditions and practices, but with little real conviction. This article is about the city in Germany. ...

However, he soon again began to express rationalistic and skeptical views; he expressed doubts as to whether biblical law was divinely sanctioned or whether it was simply written down by Moses. He came to the conclusion that all religion was a human invention. Ultimately he came to reject formalized, ritualized religion. In his view, religion was to be based only on natural law; God had no use for empty ceremony. In many ways his beliefs were Deistic; he believed that God resides in nature, which is full of peace and harmony, whereas organized religion is marked by blood, violence, and strife. In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... This article is about modern humans. ... Natural law or the law of nature (Latin: lex naturalis) is an ethical theory that posits the existence of a law whose content is set by nature and that therefore has validity everywhere. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... For other uses, see Ceremonial Deism. ... This article is about the physical universe. ... A peace dove, widely known as a symbol for peace, featuring an olive branch in the doves beak. ... For other uses, see Violence (disambiguation). ...

Eventually da Costa came across two Christians who expressed to him their desire to convert to Judaism. In accordance with his views, he dissuaded them from doing so. For the communal leadership of Amsterdam, this was the final straw. He was thus again excommunicated. For seven years he lived in virtual isolation, shunned by his family and loved ones. Ultimately, the loneliness was too much for him to handle, and he again returned to Holland and recanted. This article is about a region in the Netherlands. ...

As a punishment for his heretical views he was publicly given thirty-nine lashes at the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam. He was then forced to lie on the floor while the congregation trampled over him. This left him so demoralized and depressed that he was unable to live with himself. After writing his autobiography, Exemplar Humanae Vitae (1640), in which he wrote about his experience as a victim of intolerance, he set out to end the lives of both his cousin and himself. Seeing his relative approach one day, he grabbed a pistol and pulled the trigger. It misfired. Then he reached for another, turned it on himself, and fired, dying, they said, a terrible death. Hersey is the name of 4 towns: Hersey, Maine Hersey, Michigan Hersey Township, Michigan Hersey Township, Minnesota John Hersey is an American Writer. ... Lashing can refer to: the infliction of lashes, i. ... A synagogue (from , transliterated synagogē, assembly; beit knesset, house of assembly; or beit tefila, house of prayer, shul; , esnoga) is a Jewish house of worship. ... A congregation is the group of members who make up a local Christian church, Jewish synagogue, Mosque or other religious assembly. ... Intolerance is the lack of ability or willingness to tolerate something. ...

Ultimately there are many ways to view Uriel da Costa. He has been seen as a crusader of free thought and an early precursor of modern biblical criticism. Internally to Judaism, he was seen by many as both a troublemaking heretic and martyr against the intolerance of the Orthodox Jewish establishment. He has also been seen as a precursor to Baruch Spinoza. This article is about the academic treatment of the bible as a historical document. ... For other uses, see Heresy (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Martyr (disambiguation). ... Orthodox Judaism is the formulation of Judaism that adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonised in the Talmudic texts (Oral Torah) and as subsequently developed and applied by the later authorities known as the Gaonim, Rishonim, and Acharonim. ... Baruch de Spinoza (‎, Portuguese: , Basque: , Latin: ) (November 24, 1632 – February 21, 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Jewish origin. ...

Da Costa is also indicative of the difficulty that many Marranos faced upon their arrival in an organized Jewish community. As a Crypto-Jew in Iberia, he read the Bible and was impressed by it. In the absence of a functioning Jewish community, he was in essence his own rabbi, and considered this to be the true Judaism. But upon arriving in a Jewish community he discovered that Jews do not literally follow the Bible as the Karaites, but alongside the Oral Law, a vast and ancient legal tradition, which interprets the reading and practice of biblical law; due to his unfamiliarity with those teachings, he considered it to be not one and the same. Marranos (Spanish and Portuguese, literally pigs in the Spanish language, originally a derogatory term from the Arabic محرّم muharram meaning ritually forbidden, stemming from the prohibition against eating the flesh of the animal among both Jews and Muslims), were Sephardic Jews (Jews from the Iberian peninsula) who were forced to adopt... Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith; people who practice crypto-Judaism are referred to as crypto-Jews. The term crypto-Jew is also used to describe descendants of Jews who still (generally secretly) maintain some Jewish traditions, often while adhering... The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. ... Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the Tanakh as the sole scripture, and rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmuds) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ... When Moses received all of the laws that would define the Jewish tradition, he also received the explanation of these laws. ...


  • Propostas contra a tradição (Portuguese for Propositions against tradition), ca. 1616.
  • Exame das tradições farisaicas ((Portuguese for Examination of Pharisaic traditions, 1623. Here, da Costa argues that the human soul is not immortal.
  • Exemplar humanae vitae (Latin for Example of a human life), 1640.

For the followers of the Vilna Gaon, see Perushim. ... For other uses, see Soul (disambiguation). ... Look up immortal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ...

Gutzkow's Uriel Acosta

The German writer Karl Gutzkow (18111878), in 1846, in the midst of the liberal milieu that led to the Revolutions of 1848 wrote a play about his life, entitled simply Uriel Acosta. This would later become the first classic play to be translated into Yiddish, and would long be a standard of Yiddish theater. The first translation into Yiddish was by Osip Mikhailovich Lerner, who staged the play at the Mariinski Theater in Odessa, Ukraine (then part of Imperial Russia) in 1881, shortly after the assassination of Tsar Alexander II. Abraham Goldfaden rapidly followed with a rival production, an operetta, at Odessa's Remesleni Club, and Israel Rosenberg promptly followed with his own translation for a production in Łódź (modern-day Poland). Rosenberg's production starred Jacob Adler in the title role; the play would remain a signature piece in Adler's repertoire to the end of his stage career, the first of the several roles through which he developed the persona that he referred to as "the Grand Jew". Hermann Jellinek (brother of Adolf Jellinek) also wrote a book entitled Uriel Acosta. Karl Gutzkow Karl Ferdinand Gutzkow (17 March 1811 – 16 December 1878) was a German writer notable in the Young Germany movement of the mid-19th century. ... For the US Federal Agent designation, see Special agent. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. ... The European Revolutions of 1848, known in some countries as the Spring of Nations or the Year of Revolution, were a revolutionary wave which erupted in Sicily and then, further triggered by the revolutions of 1848 in France, soon spread to the rest of Europe and as far afield as... Yiddish (ייִדיש, Jiddisch) is a Germanic language spoken by about four million Jews throughout the world. ... Yiddish theatre consists of plays written and performed primarily by Jews in Yiddish, the language of the Eastern European Ashkenazaic Jewish community. ... Osip Mikhailovich Lerner was a 19th century Russian Jewish intellectual and lawyer. ... The ODESSA, which stands for the German phrase Organisation der ehemaligen SS-Angehörigen, which phrase in turn translates as “Organization of Former Members of the SS,” is the name commonly given to an international Nazi network alleged to have been set up towards the end of World War II... Imperial Russia is the term used to cover the period of history from the expansion of Russia under Peter the Great, through the expansion of the Russian Empire from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific Ocean, to the deposal of Nicholas II of Russia, the last tsar, at the start... Assassin and Assassins redirect here. ... Tsar (Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian цар, Russian  , in scientific transliteration respectively car and car ), occasionally spelled Czar or Tzar and sometimes Csar or Zar in English, is a Slavonic term designating certain monarchs. ... Alexander (Aleksandr) II Nikolaevich (Russian: Александр II Николаевич) (Moscow, 29 April 1818 – 13 March 1881 in St. ... Abraham Goldfaden Abraham Goldfaden (July 24, 1840 – January 9, 1908), born Abraham Goldenfoden (first name alternately Avram, Avron, Avrohom, Avrom, or Avrum, last name alternately Goldfadn; the Romanian spelling Avram Goldfaden is common) was a Russian-born Jewish poet and playwright, author of some 40 plays. ... Operetta is a genre of light opera, light in terms both of music and subject matter. ... Israel (Yisrol) Rosenberg (ca. ... Motto: Ex navicula navis (From a boat, a ship) Coordinates: , Country Voivodeship Powiat city county Gmina Łódź City Rights 1423 Government  - Mayor Jerzy Kropiwnicki Area  - City 293. ... Categories: People stubs | Jewish film and theatre | 1855 births | 1926 deaths ... ADOLF JELLINEK (1821-1893), Jewish preacher and scholar, was born in Moravia. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


  • The Tragic Life of Uriel Da Costa
  • Adler, Jacob, A Life on the Stage: A Memoir, translated and with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld, Knopf, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-679-41351-0. 200 et. seq.

  Results from FactBites:
Uriel da Costa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1104 words)
Uriel da Costa believed that this was not an idea deeply rooted in biblical Judaism, but rather had been formulated primarily by the Rabbis.
Uriel was called before the rabbinic leadership of Amsterdam for uttering blasphemous views against Judaism and Christianity.
Uriel da Costa is also indicative of the difficulty that many Marranos faced upon their arrival in an organized Jewish community.
Uriel da Costa (1264 words)
Gabriel da Costa, as he was originally known, was born into an aristocratic family of New Christians in the northern Portuguese city of Porto in the early 1580s.
It was in Amsterdam that Uriel da Costa's nightmare began.
Uriel da Costa is sometimes viewed as a hero in the fight against religious intolerance.
  More results at FactBites »



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