The Apocryphal Apocalypse: The Reception of the Second Book of Esdras (4 Ezra) from the Renaissance…

Hardcover | October 15, 1999

byAlastair Hamilton

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This is the first study of the reception of the apocryphal Second Book of Esdras (4 Ezra) from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Professor Hamilton discusses the concepts of biblical apocrypha and canonicity in connection with the increasingly critical attitude to religious authoritywhich developed with the humanists and intensified with the Reformation. The Book owed its initial success to Hebraists such as Pico della Mirandola and Bibliander. It was used to account for the origins of Jewish Kabbalah and to prophesy political and religious events: the fall of the Ottomanempire, or the destruction of the papacy. Anabaptists, dissident Protestants of various persuasions, Rosicrucians and Paracelsians consulted it not only as a work of prophecy but, it is argued, as an emblem of dissent, rejected by the official Churches. At the same time more sober scholars, bothProtestants and Catholics, scrutinized 2 Esdras with greater objectivity, endeavouring to date it correctly and establish its authorship. This study also investigates the interaction between their views and those of the Book's enthusiastic supporters.

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This is the first study of the reception of the apocryphal Second Book of Esdras (4 Ezra) from the fifteenth to the eighteenth century. Professor Hamilton discusses the concepts of biblical apocrypha and canonicity in connection with the increasingly critical attitude to religious authoritywhich developed with the humanists and intens...

Formerly Professor of English, University of Urbino, Italy; Dr C. Louise Thijssen-Schoute Professor of the History of Ideas, University of Leiden, Holland, since 1986; Professor of the History of the Radical Reformation, University of Amsterdam, since 1987

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Format:HardcoverPublished:October 15, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198175213

ISBN - 13:9780198175216

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Table of Contents

1. From the Church Fathers to the Renaissance2. Prophecy and Kabbalism3. Official Attitudes4. Catholic Responses5. The Radical Solution: The Anabaptists6. A Broad Tradition of Dissent7. Rosicrucians, New Prophets and the Thirty Years War8. Radical Pietism and Eirenic Mysticism9. Of Monsters, Indians and Jews10. Controversialists and Scholars11. England and the Arabic Version12. The AftermathConclusionAppendix: 2 EsdrasBibliographyIndex of Biblical PassagesGeneral index

Editorial Reviews

`a significant contribution to our knowledge of the reception of apocryphal writings in the early modern period ... One of the most interesting sections of Hamilton's study is devoted to Wolfgang Lazius' use of the book to prove the eventual triumph of the Church of Rome and the House ofHabsburg.' Irena Backus, Comptes Rendus.