Saadya Gaon: The Double Path of the Mystic and the Rationalist Gyongyi Hegedus offers a new perspective on the thought of the most significant medieval Jewish thinker of the pre-Maimonidean era, Saadya Gaon. Saadya’s important philosophical works belong to two distinct traditions: his main work is written in the style of rationalist theology (kalam), but he is also responsible for composing a commentary in a neo-Pythagorean tone. In addition to contextualizing the two traditions and analyzing their Islamic parallels, the book makes the argument that Saadya consciously constructed a two-layered model of thought and harmonized two styles: one based on sensation and logic, the other on a specific prophetic insight.
Gyongyi Hegedus, Ph.D. (2000), Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) is Associate Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Kings’ College at the University of Western Ontario (Canada). She published several articles on medieval Jewish and Islamic thought.
For all readers interested in medieval Jewish thought, exchange of ideas between Jewish and Islamic philosophical schools in the 10th century, the formation of Jewish systematic theology, rationalism and mysticism.