Jewish Philosophy in the Medieval World (3 cr)
JSTU-J 304 Social & Historical Topics in Jewish Studies #27470 / NELC-N 303 Issues in Middle Eastern History #28528
TR 4-5:15; BH 321
This course presents an introduction to Jewish philosophy in the Middle Ages in its Mediterranean context. Our journey begins with an overview of the classical texts of Greek philosophy preserved in the Eastern Arabic translations. It follows the transmission of philosophical tradition to the Islamic West, which enabled the “golden age” of al-Andalus, and its later passage into the Christian lands of northern Spain and southern France. The course deals with the relation of Jewish philosophy with various intellectual trends like Muslim theology (kalam), Sufism, poetry, historiography, kabbalah, and religious polemic, through the analysis of primary sources by Saadia al-Fayyumi, Abraham ibn Daud, Bahya ibn Paquda, Shlomo ibn Gabirol, Judah Halevi, Maimonides, Shlomo ibn Adret, Abraham Abulafia, Gersonides and Hasday Crescas. All readings will be provided in English translation, but students who read Hebrew or Arabic will have the chance to read in the original versions, if they wish to do so. Given the interdisciplinary approach of the course, the participation of students from different departments is particularly encouraged.