Access to the full content is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Shem Tov family

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-J024-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved November 28, 2023, from

Article Summary

The ibn Shem Tov family included four Jewish intellectuals of fifteenth century Spain whose philosophical, theological, homiletical and polemical works followed the persecution of 1391 and the ensuing mass apostasy of Jews. Responding to these traumatic events, the Shem Tovs rethought the place of philosophy in traditional Judaism. Although the pater familias reacted sharply to the spiritual crisis by criticizing Maimonides and endorsing Kabbalah, his offspring charted a more moderate course that enabled Jewish intellectuals to cultivate philosophy and the kindred arts and sciences while asserting the ultimate primacy of their revealed faith over philosophy, and its philosophical superiority to Christianity.

Citing this article:
Tirosh-Samuelson, Hava. Shem Tov family, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J024-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2023 Routledge.

Related Searches


Related Articles