IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 816: Jewish and Islamic Philosophy

Tuesday 13 July 2004, 16.30-18.00

Paper 816-aTruth, Tradition and Religion: The Association between Judaism and Islam and the Relation Between Religion and Philosophy in Medieval Jewish Thought
(Language: English)
Gitit Holzman, Independent Scholar, Beer Sheva
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Islamic & Arabic Studies, Philosophy
Paper 816-bInfluences of Jewish Thought on Latin Scholasticism
(Language: English)
Jacek Surzyn, Department of Philosophy, Silesian University, Katowice
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Islamic & Arabic Studies, Philosophy
Paper 816-cThe Guide of the Perplexed in Social Context
(Language: English)
Tamás Visi, Cabinet of Jewish Studies, Palacký University, Olomouc
Index terms: Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Philosophy

grouped by Liz James 24-10-03; suggestion for chair required;
Abstract paper a –
Scholars of medieval Jewish thought have already indicated the very different motivations leading to the emergence of their area of expertise, as opposed to the motivation which Greek philosophy had stemmed from. Plato and Aristotle both testified to the fact that it was humankind’s bewilderment while facing nature which eventually resulted in a systematic quest for answers, namely philosophy. Jewish philosophers, on the other hand, were not perplexed by nature itself, but rather by encountering the ancient Greek theories. For indeed, medieval Jewish philosophy is the child of a fruitful rendez-vous between Jewish religious heritage on the one hand, and Greek and Muslim thought on the other hand. The proposed lecture would therefore analyze various ways in which Jewish thought had benefited from its encounter with science and philosophy, and would focus on thinkers like Averroes and his Jewish disciple, Moses of Narbonne who claimed that the allegedly rival religions, Judaism and Islam, are but different manifestations of the same basic truth.

Abstract paper b –
Jewish philosophy affected in a high degree on the Latin scholasticism. Judaism met with Christianity as a result of definite political situation, in which played the Latin expansionism in Arabian world. However this fact does not explain after all so large influence as well as Judaism and Arabian thoughts. The special place occuped here Moses Maimonides. His book “”Guide to the Perplexed”” is the most important for delimitation the problem of relationship of faith and reason. Moses aimed the harmony between Jewish faith and Aristotle’s philosophy and he introduced the possibility of reconciliation between reason and faith. This line was represented by Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas.

Abstract paper c
The year 1204 is marked by not only the Fourth Crusade but by the death of Moses Maimonides as well. Modern scholarship generally failed to notice the social context in which his opus magnum,The Guide of the Perplexed was composed, and to which it owes some of its peculiarities. I will summarize the main points in my paper: Maimonides worked in a Muslim hospital (bimaristan) in Cairo, where cooperation between physicians of the three faiths was everyday practice. Philosophy was part of the medical curriculum and taught in the hospitals. The Guide was written for Jews working in the hospitals, and facing the criticism of their Muslim and Christian collegues day by day.