Ḥasdai Crescas

  • Tony Lévy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_8630

Ḥasdai ben Abraham Crescas (1340–1412) was one of the most influential personalities of Spanish Jewry in the end of the fourteenth century. As chief rabbi of the Aragonian Jewish communities during the persecutions of 1391, he was responsible for their reconstruction. Although his literary work was not very large, it constitutes an important contribution to the history of philosophical and scientific ideas, mainly as a critique of medieval Aristotelianism.

Under the influence of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed (translated from Arabic into Hebrew in the beginning of the thirteenth century), Aristotelianism had spread in Jewish circles, raising many controversies. Besides those who opposed the study of philosophy only on the ground that it undermined religious beliefs, others invoked scientific and philosophic arguments to give support to their own critique of philosophy. Crescas is certainly the most important of the latter critics.

Apart from a short composition, Biṭṭul ˓Iqqarey...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Copenhaver, Brian. Jewish Theologies of Space in the Scientific Revolution: Henri More, Joseph Raphson, Isaac Newton and Their Predecessors. Annals of Science 37 (1980): 489–548.Google Scholar
  2. Harvey, W. Zéev. L'univers infini de Hasday Crescas. Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 1998: 551–557.Google Scholar
  3. Harvey, Warren Zev. Physics and Metaphysics in Hasdai Crescas. Amsterdam: Gieben, 1998.Google Scholar
  4. Lévy, Tony. Monde juif et science gréco‐arabe, avant la Renaissance. Figures de l'infini. Les mathématiques au miroir des cultures. Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1987.Google Scholar
  5. Or Adonay. Hebrew text in Sefer Or ha‐Shem by Rabbi Hasdai Crescas. 1st ed. Ferrara, 1555. Reprint with an introduction in Hebrew by E. Shweid. Jerusalem: Makor Publishing, n.d.Google Scholar
  6. Pines, Shlomo. Scholasticism after Thomas Aquinas and the Teachings of Hasdai Crescas and his Predecessors. Proceedings of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities 1.10 (1967): 1–101.Google Scholar
  7. Wolfson, Harry Austryn. Crescas' Critique of Aristotle. Problems of Aristotle's Physics in Jewish and Arabic Philosophy. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1929.Google Scholar
  8. Zonta, Mauro. Due note sulle fonti ebraiche di Giovanni Pico e Giordano Bruno. Rinascimento 2. 40 (2000): 143–53.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tony Lévy

There are no affiliations available