Averroes and Averroism in Medieval Jewish Thought


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The Andalusian Muslim philosopher Averroes (1126–1198) is known for his authoritative commentaries on Aristotle and for his challenging ideas about the relationship between philosophy and religion, and the place of religion in society. Among Jewish authors, he found many admirers and just as many harsh critics. This volume brings together, for the first time, essays investigating Averroes’s complex reception, in different philosophical topics and among several Jewish authors, with special attention to its relation to the reception of Maimonides.

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Racheli Haliva (Ph.D. 2016, McGill), is Associate Professor for Jewish Studies at the Center of Judaic and Inter-Religious Studies, Shandong University, and formerly a co-director at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies at Universität Hamburg. She works on the history of medieval Jewish philosophy and Jewish-Christian polemical literature.

Yoav Meyrav (Ph.D. 2017, Tel Aviv) is the Principal Investigator of the ERC funded project HEPMASITE (Hebrew Philosophical Manuscripts as Sites of Engagement) at Universität Hamburg, and a former research associate at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies. He has published on Ancient, Arabic, and Jewish philosophy, Hebrew philology, and the history of metaphysics.

Daniel Davies (Ph.D. 2007, Cambridge) focusses on medieval philosophy and philosophy of religion, and his publications include Method and Metaphysics in Maimonides’ Guide for the Perplexed, which received an honourable mention from the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards.
Racheli Haliva, Daniel Davies and Yoav Meyrav

Notes on Contributors

Part 1: What Is Jewish Averroism?

1 Was al-Ġazālī an Avicennist? Some Provocative Reflections on Jewish Averroism
Steven Harvey

2 How a Rehabilitated Notion of Latin Averroism Could Help in Understanding Jewish Averroism
Giovanni Licata

Part 2: The Maimonides/Averroes Complex

3 Is Maimonides’s Biblical Exegesis Averroistic?
Mercedes Rubio

4 Averroes and Ğābir ibn Aflaḥ among the Jews: New Interpretations for Joseph ben Judah ibn Simon’s Allegorical Correspondence with Maimonides
Reimund Leicht

5 The Garden of Eden and the Scope of Human Knowledge: Maimonides, Falaquera and Nissim of Marseille
David Lemler

6 The Role of Averroes’s Tahāfut in Narboni’s Commentary on the Guide
Yonatan Shemesh

Part 3: Averroes in Jewish Religious Discourse

7 Averroism, the Jewish-Christian Debate, and Mass Conversions in Iberia
Daniel J. Lasker

8 Double Truth in the Writings of Medieval Jewish Averroists: An Esoteric Way of Appealing to Both Sceptics and Non-sceptics
Shalom Sadik

9 Averroes’s Influence upon Theological Responses to Scepticism in Late Medieval Jewish Philosophy
Shira Weiss

Part 4: Jewish Authors Doing Philosophy with (and about) Averroes

10 Love and Hate May Lead Astray: Moses Halevi’s Rejection of Averroes
Yoav Meyrav

11 Averroism in Judah ha-Cohen’s Midraš ha-ḥokhmah?
Resianne Fontaine

12 Falaquera the Averroist
Yair Shiffman

13 The Necessary Existent, Simplicity, and Incorporeality: An Anti-Avicennian-Averroist Approach
Bakinaz Abdalla

14 Gersonides and Kaspi on the Uncertainty of the Future and the Practical Intellect
Alexander Green

15 Rabbi Moses ben Judah (Rambi) as an Averroist
Esti Eisenmann

16 Crescas’s Attitude toward Averroes
Warren Zev Harvey

17 Matter and Elements: Al-Ġazālī and Averroes as a Source of Isaac Abravanel’s “The Forms of the Elements”
Elisa Coda

Part 5: Averroes in Hebrew and from Hebrew

18 Choking on Water, the Stratification of Society, and the Death of Socrates in the Hebrew Averroes
Yehuda Halper

19 Ṭodros Ṭodrosi’s accessus ad auctorem: A Hebrew “Aristotelian Prologue” to Averroes’s Middle Commentaries on Rhetoric and Poetics
Francesca Gorgoni

20 Jacob Mantino and the Alleged Second Latin Translation of Averroes’s Long Commentary on On the Soul 3.5 and 3.36
Michael Engel

Anyone interested in Jewish and Islamic philosophy, medieval Latin philosophy, and the history of Aristotelianism.
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