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Chapters on Jewish Medieval Philosophy

Class at Faculty of Arts |


February 22

Historical and intellectual context of the birth of Jewish philosophy in the Middle Ages. Jewish kalām: Saadia Gaon

Reading: Guttmann, pp. 53-83; or Husik, pp. xiii-l, 23-47; or Sirat, pp. 1-13, 18-37  

March 1

Saadia Gaon: The Book of Beliefs and Opinions  

March 8

Neo-Platonism: Bachya ibn Paquda

Reading: Guttmann, pp. 95-101, 117-124; or Husik, pp. 1-16, 80-105; or Sirat, pp. 57-68, 81-85  

March 15

Bachya ibn Paquda: Duties of the Heart  

March 22

Solomon ibn Gabirol

Reading: Guttmann, pp. 101-117; or Husik, pp. 59-79; or Sirat, pp. 68-81  

April 5

Solomon ibn Gabirol: The Fountain of Life  

April 12

Judah Halevi

Reading: Guttmann, pp. 136-151; or Husik, pp. 150-183; or Sirat, pp. 113-131  

April 19

Judah Halevi: The Kuzari  

April 26

Aristotelianism: Maimonides

Reading: Guttmann, pp. 172-207; or Husik, pp. 236-311; or Sirat, pp. 157-203  

May 3

Maimonides: Mishneh Torah I (Sefer ha-Madaʻ)  

May 10

Maimonides: The Guide of the Perplexed  

May 18

Maimonides: Eight Chapters

This text is not available in the current language. Showing version "cs".Annotation

Traditional, Orthodox Judaism is not interested in a systematic reflection on the "Jewish faith"-its focus is rather on the religious practice. Impulses for a rational, conceptual definition of traditional religious ideas come from outside-through the direct influence of Greek and Hellenistic thought, then to a greater extent, under the influence of rationalistic branches of Islamic theology. Despite the fact that Jewish philosophy accepted forms and terminology originally foreign to Judaism, it has always conserved specific content bound with the views of the specific role of Israel in the world history.

The course shall give a historical survey of the development of the Jewish philosophy, from its beginnings in the ancient Greco-Roman world, the confrontation with medieval Islamic thinking, the full development of autonomous Jewish philosophical reflection to its decline at the end of the Middle Ages. Main religious and philosophical ideas will be discussed and the most important Jewish philosophers will be presented.