Gersonides' Afterlife

Studies on the Reception of Levi ben Gerson’s Philosophical, Halakhic and Scientific Oeuvre in the 14th through 20th Centuries. Officina Philosophica Hebraica Volume 2


Gersonides’ Afterlife is the first full-scale treatment of the reception of one of the greatest scientific minds of medieval Judaism: Gersonides (1288–1344). An outstanding representative of the Hebrew Jewish culture that then flourished in southern France, Gersonides wrote on mathematics, logic, astronomy, astrology, physical science, metaphysics and theology, and commented on almost the entire bible. His strong-minded attempt to integrate these different areas of study into a unitary system of thought was deeply rooted in the Aristotelian tradition and yet innovative in many respects, and thus elicited diverse and often impassionate reactions. For the first time, the twenty-one papers collected here describe Gersonides’ impact in all fields of his activity and the reactions from his contemporaries up to present-day religious Zionism.

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Ofer Elior, Ph.D. (2011), Ben-Gurion University, is Research Fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Ben-Gurion University. He has published a monograph, critical editions and many articles on medieval Jewish philosophy, including a critical edition of Gersonides’ The Wars of the Lord, Treatises I–IV (Tel Aviv, 2018).
Gad Freudenthal, Ph.D. (1981), Université de Paris I, is Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris. He has written extensively on the reception of science and philosophy in Jewish cultures, and edited numerous volumes including Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures (Cambridge, 2011).
David Wirmer, Ph.D. (2010), University of Bonn, is Professor of Arabic and Hebrew Philosophy at the University of Cologne. He has published monographs and articles on Arabic natural philosophy and epistemology, including Vom Denken der Natur zur Natur des Denkens (Berlin, 2014).
"For the first time, the twenty-one papers collected here describe Gersonides’ impact in all fields of his activity and the reactions from his contemporaries up to present-day religious Zionism. (...) Highly recommended for all scholarly academic collections." - David B Levy, Lander College for Women, in Association of Jewish Libraries - New and Reviews December 2021 | January 2022, Volume II, No.6
Subseries Editor’s Liminary Note: Gersonides’ Afterlife—Towards a Collaborative Working Program
Editors’ Preface
List of Figures and Tables

Part 1 The Reception of Gersonides’ Philosophical and Halakhic Oeuvre

1 “Composition, Not Commentary”: Gersonides’ Commentary on the Isagoge of Porphyry and Its Afterlife
Charles H. Manekin

2 The Supercommentaries of Gersonides and His Students on Averroes’s Epitomes of the Physics and the Meteorology
Steven Harvey and Resianne Fontaine

3 Crescas’ Relationship to Gersonides
Warren Zev Harvey

4 From Denunciation to Appreciation: Gersonides in the Eyes of Members of the Ibn Shem Ṭov Family
Doron Forte

5 Gersonides and His Sephardic Critics
Seymour Feldman

6 A Fifteenth-Century Reader of Gersonides: Don Isaac Abravanel, Providence, Astral Influences, Active Intellect, and Humanism
Cedric Cohen Skalli and Oded Horezky

7 Gersonides’ Philosophy in Fifteenth-Century Byzantium: Shabbetai ben Malkiel ha-Kohen’s Defense of Averroes’s Theory of Material Intellect
Ofer Elior

8 Gersonides’ Reception in the Ashkenazi Tradition
Tamás Visi

9 The Karaite Reception of Gersonides
Daniel J. Lasker

10 Gersonides’ Biblical Commentaries in a Fifteenth-Century Slavic Translation of the Bible
Moshe Taube

11 Gersonides’ Responsa and Their Reception
Pinchas Roth

Part 2 The Reception of Gersonides’ Astronomical and Astrological Oeuvre

12 The Lunar Cycle of 11,325 Days
José Chabás and Bernard R. Goldstein

13 The Afterlife of Gersonides’ Cross-Staff and of the Poem Dedicated to It
Gad Freudenthal

14 Violas de Rodez’ Political Prognostication for the Year 1355: Reaction to the Prognostications for 1345–1355?
Hagar Kahana-Smilansky

Part 3 Printing and Reading Histories

15 The Reception History of Gersonides’ Writings, according to Their Early Printing History (Fifteenth–Sixteenth Centuries)
Zeev Gries

16 Gersonides Hebraicus atque Latinus: Some Remarks on Levi ben Gershom’s Works and the Reading and Book-Collecting Cultures of the Renaissance
Michela Andreatta

17 Censoring/“Improving” Gersonides: The Case of the Toʿalot
Menachem Kellner

Part 4 Gersonides’ Oeuvre in Nineteenth-Century Germany

18 Rabbi Abraham Nager and Ludwig Philippson—The Revisor and Sponsor of the Leipzig Edition of Gersonides’ Milḥamot Ha-Shem (1866): The Wissenschaft des Judentums and Orientalistik in Nineteenth-Century Germany (a Case Study)
Gad Freudenthal

19 The Rediscovery of Gersonides as a Religious Philosopher by the Wissenschaft des Judentums (1860–1890)
George Y. Kohler

20 Benzion Kellermann’s German Translation of Gersonides’ Milḥamot ha-Shem (1914–1916): The History of a Scholarly Failure
Torsten Lattki

Part 5 Late Repercussions of Gersonides’ Oeuvre

21 Notes on Gersonides’ Place in Religious-Zionist Thought
Dov Schwartz

All interested in medieval philosophy and science, the cultural history of the Jews between the fourteenth and twentieth centuries, and Jewish-Christian cultural contact in early Modernity.
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