A Controversy on the Immortality of the Soul

in Jewish Poet and Intellectual in Seventeenth-Century Venice

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780226779881
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226779874 | DOI:
A Controversy on the Immortality of the Soul

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This part includes Sarra Copia Sulam's Manifesto on the “immortality of the soul,” which she was accused of denying. Her Manifesto forms part of a highly charged personal and philosophical exchange of documents, and reflects a drama whose “plot” can be traced from an early letter of Baldassare Bonifaccio, the accuser, to Copia's response in a letter of her own, and then on to Bonifaccio's stinging Discorso where he thought he would put an end to the altercation but did not and could not: Copia replied in her Manifesto, to which Bonifaccio provided a counter reply, following it, a few months later, with a malicious report (in a letter to an acquaintance), as yet unpublished, on the woman who dared to defy him. In his letters, Bonifaccio tackled issues such as the resurrection of the dead among the Jews, whether striving for a good name assures immortality, the power to foresee the future as a sign of immortality, and the extent to which corporal harmony assures the soul of immortality.

Keywords: Sarra Copia Sulam; Manifesto; immortality; Jews; soul; resurrection; corporal harmony; Discorso; letters; Baldassare Bonifaccio

Chapter.  37853 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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