Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages

Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages

eBook - 2009
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Academic Studies Press
In a lecture title “Jewish Philosophy: An Obituary,” Paul Mendes-Flohr observed that “Jewish philosophers seem to be a dying breed.” However tongue in cheek the statement may have been at the close of the twentieth century by a scholar of modern Jewish thought, a similar pessimistic observation was made quite seriously at the beginning of the twentieth century by Isaac Husik in his History of Medieval Jewish Philosophy (1916), which he sadly concludes with the words, “There are Jews now and there are philosophers, but there are no Jewish philosophers and there is no Jewish philosophy.”This volume, as one more modest contribution to the exponentially increasing publications, in Hebrew and in other languages, of original thought and of scholarly analysis, proves that obituaries for Jewish philosophy and thought are exaggerated, premature, and ultimately far off the mark. Husik’s own work helped start the revival of a field for which he – like nineteenth century scholars of Wissenschaft des Judentums – mistakenly thought he was writing an epitaph.

Book News
Jospe (Jewish philosophy, Bar Ilan U., Hebrew U. of Jerusalem) presents an accessible survey of the formative period of medieval Jewish philosophy, which emerged while Jews were living in Islamic countries and writing in Arabic. Following an analysis of perspectives on what makes a philosophy Jewish and overview of predecessors including Philo of Alexandria, he samples and compares thinkers representative of major schools of thought, literary genres, and controversies, from Sa'adiah Ga'on to Maimonides/Rambam. Descriptions and diagrams of medieval Jewish cosmology are appended. This is a condensation of a three- volume series in Hebrew, Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages: From Sa'adiah Ga'on to Rambam (Open U. of Israel). Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Boston : Academic Studies Press, 2009
ISBN: 9781618110152
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiv, 605 pages) : illustrations


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