Sci­ence in Medieval Jew­ish Cultures

Gad Freuden­thal, ed.
  • From the Publisher
December 11, 2012
Sci­ence in Medieval Cul­tures edit­ed by Gad Freuden­thal, pro­vides the first com­pre­hen­sive overview by 21 renowned experts of cur­rent knowl­edge regard­ing the engage­ment of medieval Jews with the sci­ences (12th-16th cen­turies). Many medieval Jews liv­ing in Islam­ic or Chris­t­ian civ­i­liza­tions, joined Mai­monides in their accep­tance of the philo­soph­i­cal-sci­en­tif­ic tra­di­tion. They appro­pri­at­ed an exten­sive range of sci­en­tif­ic knowl­edge includ­ing astron­o­my, math­e­mat­ics, physics, biol­o­gy, psy­chol­o­gy, astrol­o­gy and med­i­cine in texts using their orig­i­nal lan­guages of Latin and Ara­bic or in Hebrew trans­la­tions. These texts were the start­ing points for Jew­ish con­tri­bu­tions to medieval sci­ences, and they also informed oth­er lit­er­ary gen­res includ­ing bib­li­cal com­men­taries and halakhic (legal) dis­cus­sions. The essays pro­vide read­ers with a greater under­stand­ing of medieval sci­en­tif­ic thought and reflect the diver­si­ty of Jew­ish cul­tures and sci­ence in spe­cif­ic con­texts dur­ing the Mid­dle Ages. Gad Freuden­tal is a Senior Research Fel­low (Emer­i­tus) at the Cen­tre Nation­al de la Recherche Sci­en­tifique (CNRS) in Paris and teach­es in the Depart­ment of Phi­los­o­phy at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Gene­va. He is the author and edi­tor of sev­er­al books on the his­to­ry of sci­ence in antiq­ui­ty and the Mid­dle Ages, espe­cial­ly in Jew­ish cultures. 

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