# 41654

SPENCERO, Joanne (John Spencer, 1630 - 1693)

De Legibus Hebraeorum ritualibus et earum rationibus, libri quatuor.

$1,250.00 AUD

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Cantabrigiae (Cambridge) : Apud C. Crownfield; E. Jeffery & W. Thurlboum, 1727. Second edition, revised. Two volumes, folio, 360 mm tall, full contemporary specked calf, ruled in gilt, a few scuff marks, spines in compartment with raised bands, gilt rules and contrasting morocco title labels, lettered in gilt, head caps unobtrusively restored, edges specked red, early shelf marks to pastedowns, portrait frontispiece, pp. [xx]; 635; [iv]; 639 – 1232; (28 – index), engraved headpieces, internally clean, a fine set.

De Legibus Hebraeorum was written by English clergyman John Spencer and is considered a pioneer work of comparative religion, in which he advanced the thesis that Judaism was not the earliest of mankind’s religions. First published in 1685, Spencer’s main thesis is that the rituals and practices of Judaism derive from Egyptian spiritualism, adapted by religious leaders for the Jewish people.  ‘God gave the Jews a religion that was carnal only in its frontispiece, but divine and wonderful in its interior in order to accommodate his institutions to the taste and usage of the time…’ . 

This is the second edition, revised by Leonard Chappelow well after Spencer’s death.

A fine set of an important theological exploration of the historical origins of Judaism.