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Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

Maimonides, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation, with Critical Editions of the Medieval Hebrew Translations

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Edited by Gerrit Bos

Hippocrates’ Aphorisms enjoyed great popularity in the ancient and medieval world and, according to Maimonides, it was Hippocrates’ most useful work as it contained aphorisms, which every physician should know by heart. They were translated into Hebrew several times, but it was Maimonides’ Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms that made the work influential in Jewish circles. For the composition of his commentary, Maimonides consulted the Aphorisms through the commentary by Galen, translated by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. This edition of Maimonides’ Arabic commentary and its Hebrew translations, the first with an English translation based on the Arabic text, is part of a project undertaken by Gerrit Bos to critically edit Maimonides’ medical works.

Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa

A Contextual Analysis of the Pre-baptismal Sermons attributed to Quodvultdeus of Carthage

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David Vopřada

In Quodvultdeus: a Bishop Forming Christians in Vandal Africa, David Vopřada presents the pre-baptismal catecheses of the fifth-century bishop of Carthage, delivered to the new believers in extremely difficult period of barbaric incursions. Quodvultdeus is generally not appraised as an original philosopher or theologian as his master Augustine was, in this book his qualities of a bishop who was entrusted with the care of his flock come forward. Making interdisciplinary use of the ancient and ecclesiastical history, philosophy, theology, archaeology, exegesis, liturgy science, homiletics, and rhetorics, the book offers a new and most innovative contribution to the life, work, and theology of Quodvultdeus.

Gerrit Bos

The terminology in medieval Hebrew medical literature (original works and translations) has been sorely neglected by modern research. Medical terminology is virtually missing from the standard dictionaries of the Hebrew language, including Ha-Millon he-ḥadash, composed by Abraham Even-Shoshan. Ben-Yehuda’s dictionary is the only one that contains a significant number of medical terms. Unfortunately, Ben-Yehuda’s use of the medieval medical texts listed in the dictionary’s introduction is inconsistent at best. The only dictionary exclusively devoted to medical terms, both medieval and modern, is that by A.M. Masie, entitled Dictionary of Medicine and Allied Sciences. However, like the dictionary by Ben-Yehuda, it only makes occasional use of the sources registered in the introduction and only rarely differentiates between the various medieval translators. Further, since Masie’s work is alphabetized according to the Latin or English term, it cannot be consulted for Hebrew terms. The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language, which is currently being created by the Academy of the Hebrew Language, has not been taken into account consistently as it is not a dictionary in the proper sense of the word. Moreover, consultation of this resource suggests that it is generally deficient in medieval medical terminology. The Bar Ilan Responsa Project has also been excluded as a source, despite the fact that it contains a larger number of medieval medical terms than the Historical Dictionary. The present dictionary has two major objectives: 1) to map the medical terminology featured in medieval Hebrew medical works, in order to facilitate study of medical terms, especially those terms that do not appear in the existing dictionaries, and terms that are inadequately represented. 2) to identify the medical terminology used by specific authors and translators, to enable the identification of anonymous medical material.

Themistius’ Paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12

A Critical Hebrew-Arabic Edition of the Surviving Textual Evidence, with an Introduction, Preliminary Studies, and a Commentary

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Yoav Meyrav

Themistius’ (4th century CE) paraphrase of Aristotle’s Metaphysics 12 is the earliest surviving complete account of this seminal work. Despite leaving no identifiable mark in Late Antiquity, Themistius’ paraphrase played a dramatic role in shaping the metaphysical landscape of Medieval Arabic and Hebrew philosophy and theology. Lost in Greek, and only partially surviving in Arabic, its earliest full version is in the form of a 13th century Hebrew translation. In this volume, Yoav Meyrav offers a new critical edition of the Hebrew translation and the Arabic fragments of Themistius’ paraphrase, accompanied by detailed philological and philosophical analyses. In doing so, he provides a solid foundation for the study of one of the most important texts in the history of Aristotelian metaphysics.

Maimonides, On the Elucidation of Some Symptoms and the Response to Them (Formerly Known as On the Causes of Symptoms)

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation, with Critical Editions of the Medieval Hebrew Translations

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Gerrit Bos

The present consilium, commonly known as De causis accidentium, after the Latin translation by John de Capua, was, like the earlier consilium On the Regimen of Health, composed by Maimonides at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son. As a result of not adopting the lifestyle and dietary recommendations in On the Regimen of Health, al-Afḍal may have continued to suffer from a number of afflictions, amongst them hemorrhoids, depression, constipation, and, possibly, a heart condition. The consilium was written after 1200, the year in which al-Afḍal was deposed and banished from Egypt permanently, but probably not long before 1204, the year in which Maimonides died.

Maimonides, On the Regimen of Health

A New Parallel Arabic-English Translation

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Gerrit Bos

Maimonides’ On the Regimen of Health was composed at an unknown date at the request of al-Malik al-Afḍal Nūr al-Dīn Alī, Saladin’s eldest son who complained of constipation, indigestion, and depression. The treatise must have enjoyed great popularity in Jewish circles, as it was translated three times into Hebrew as far as we know; by Moses ben Samuel ibn Tibbon in the year 1244, by an anonymous translator, and by Zeraḥyah ben Isaac ben She’altiel Ḥen who was active as a translator in Rome between 1277 and 1291. The present edition by Gerrit Bos contains the original Arabic text, the medieval Hebrew translations and the Latin translations, the latter edited by Michael McVaugh.

Gómez Pereira's Antoniana Margarita (2 vols)

A Work on Natural Philosophy, Medicine and Theology

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José Manuel García-Valverde and Peter Maxwell-Stuart

Nearly a century before Descartes, Gómez Pereira published the Antoniana Margarita with the purpose of demonstrating the thesis of animal automatism, among many other things. The author included in his book several proofs of animal insensitivity and an original model aimed at explaining animal behaviour in the grounds of a purely mechanical system. In this sense, Pereira's work represents a critical appraisal of the traditional scholastic theory of the animal mind, as well as one of the first efforts to develop this question in the field of empirical observation and physio¬logical knowledge. It is precisely for this reason that Gómez Pereira must be recognized as one of the most valuable thinkers of the Spanish Renaissance. The editors, García Valverde and Maxwell-Stuart, offer the first critical edition of the Latin text, a careful translation and an extensive study that contextualizes its content in the philosophy of the sixteenth century.

A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy

Volume III: The Crisis of Humanism. A Historial Crossroads

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Eliezer Schweid

The culmination of Eliezer Schweid’s life-work as a Jewish intellectual historian, this five-volume work provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of the major thinkers and movements in modern Jewish thought, in the context of general philosophy and Jewish social-political historical developments, with extensive primary source excerpts.
Volume Three, “The Crisis of Humanism,” commences with an important essay on the challenge to the humanist tradition posed in the late 19th century by historical materialism, existentialism and positivism. This is background for the constructive philosophies which sought at the same time to address the general crisis of moral value and provide a positive basis for Jewish existence. Among the thinkers presented in this volume are Moses Hess, Moritz Lazarus, Hermann Cohen (in impressive depth, with a thorough exposition of the Ethics and Religion of Reason), Ahad Ha-Am, I. J. Reines, Simon Dubnow, M. Y. Berdiczewski, the theorists of the Bund, Chaim Zhitlovsky, Nachman Syrkin, and Ber Borochov.

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Walter Homolka

Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.