The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy / Edition 1

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Overview

From the ninth to the fifteenth centuries Jewish thinkers living in Islamic and Christian lands philosophized about Judaism. Influenced first by Islamic theological speculation and the great philosophers of classical antiquity, and then in the late medieval period by Christian Scholasticism, Jewish philosophers and scientists reflected on the nature of language about God, the scope and limits of human understanding, the eternity or createdness of the world, prophecy and divine providence, the possibility of human freedom, and the relationship between divine and human law. Though many viewed philosophy as a dangerous threat, others incorporated it into their understanding of what it is to be a Jew. This Companion presents all the major Jewish thinkers of the period, the philosophical and non-philosophical contexts of their thought, and the interactions between Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers. It is a comprehensive introduction to a vital period of Jewish intellectual history.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Frank and Leaman's volume is a superb effort and is highly recommended for students and scholars alike. It will certainly become one of the standard reference works in the field." Philosophy in Review

"In many ways, the editors and the contributors to this volume accomplish the impossible: they offer insightful essays that will appeal not only to the specialist in the field, but also be accessible to those encountering the beauty of medieval Jewish philosophy for the first time." Studies in Religion / Sciences Religieuses, Aaron Hughes, University of Calgary

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521655743
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/31/2003
  • Series: Cambridge Companions to Philosophy Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 508
  • Sales rank: 1,435,296
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel H. Frank is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at the University of Kentucky. Among recent publications are History of Jewish Philosophy (edited with Oliver Leaman, 1997), The Jewish Philosophy Reader (edited with Oliver Leaman and Charles Manekin, 2000), and revised editions of two Jewish philosophical classics, Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed (1995) and Saadya Gaon's Book of Doctrines and Beliefs (2002).

Oliver Leaman is Professor of Philosophy and Zantker Professor of Judaic Studies at the University of Kentucky. He is the author of An Introduction to Classical Islamic Philosophy (2001), Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy (1995), and is editor of Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy ( 2001) and Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film (2001). He is co-editor, with Glennys Howarth, of Encyclopedia of Death and Dying (2001).

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Table of Contents

List of contributors
Preface
Chronology
Note on transliteration
Glossary
1 Introduction to the study of medieval Jewish philosophy 3
2 The biblical and rabbinic background to medieval Jewish philosophy 16
3 The Islamic context of medieval Jewish philosophy 38
4 Saadya and Jewish kalam 71
5 Jewish Neoplatonism: Being above Being and divine emanation in Solomon ibn Gabirol and Isaac Israeli 91
6 Judah Halevi and his use of philosophy in the Kuzari 111
7 Maimonides and medieval Jewish Aristotelianism 136
8 Maimonides and the sciences 157
9 Medieval Jewish political thought 176
10 Judaism and Sufism 201
11 Philosophy and kabbalah: 1200-1600 218
12 Arabic into Hebrew: The Hebrew translation movement and the influence of Averroes upon medieval Jewish thought 258
13 Philosophy in southern France: Controversy over philosophic study and the influence of Averroes upon Jewish thought 281
14 Conservative tendencies in Gersonides' religious philosophy 304
15 The impact of Scholasticism upon Jewish philosophy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 345
16 Jewish philosophy and the Jewish-Christian philosophical dialogue in fifteenth-century Spain 371
17 Hasdai Crescas and anti-Aristotelianism 391
18 The end and aftereffects of medieval Jewish philosophy 414
Guide to further reading in English 446
Index 464
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