Uriel Acosta

Acosta, Uriel

 

more correctly Da Costa, Uriel (Gabriel). Born about 1585; died April 1640. Philospher and freethinker.

Acosta was born in Portugal into a Jewish family which had converted to Catholicism; in 1614 he fled to Amsterdam, where he converted to Judaism. In a series of writings, he criticized the rabbinical interpretation of the teaching of Moses and denied the immortality of the soul. In the spirit of deism, Acosta contrasted the existing “pseudoreligion” with a “natural religion” founded on reason and charity. He was twice expelled from the synagogue and, unable to endure the humiliation, ended his life by suicide. His ideas and his fate influenced the formation of Spinoza’s philosophy.

WORKS

Die Schriften ... Amsterdam-Heidelberg-London, 1922.
O smertnosti dushi chelovecheskoi i dr. proizv. Introductory essay by I. K. Luppol. Moscow, 1968. (With bibliography.)

REFERENCE

Belen’kii, M. S. Tragediia U. Akosty. Moscow, 1968.

V. SOKOLOV

References in periodicals archive ?
And so it goes-Target Margin's reconstruction of Uriel Acosta piece by amalgamated piece, a mash-up of Yiddish and English, the historical and the contemporary, text and commentary.
Uriel Acosta will be the penultimate program in Target Margin's two-year series of Yiddish programming.
This year, the lineup boasts three labs of four or five shows each; performances and workshops at the New York Public Library, the JCC and Baruch College; and an initiative to commission new translations of never-before-translated Yiddish plays, as well as the spring production of Uriel Acosta.
Case in point: Early rehearsals involved the collective authorship of a 20-minute sketch about Uriel Acosta that fused German and Yiddish dramatic renderings of the story with actors' memoirs, original songs written collaboratively by the company, and an extemporaneous conversation that happened in rehearsal about the best place to get bagels and lox in New York City.
The enormous importance of 'Religionskritik'--part and parcel of the 'nature/culture' antagonism which represents a preoccupation of the Vormarz--is brought out in a detailed interpretation of Karl Gutzkow's novella Der Sadducaer von Amsterdam (1834) and its dramatic version Uriel Acosta (1846).
Among his dramas, the best known is Uriel Acosta (1846), which depicts the struggle of a Jew for intellectual freedom.