Notes for Religious Studies 369:

Introduction to Judaism


Medieval Judaism

Rationalism and Philosophy

Limited primarily to Sepharadic realm.
Tendency towards systematic thought affects additional activities; e.g., codification of religious law.

Rediscovery of Greek philsophical tradition by Muslim Arabs.

Though Philo had dealt with many of the same topics, his works were not known to medieval Jews.
Translation of Plato, Aristotle and others from Syriac to Arabic.
Usefulness for arguing truth of monotheism, morality and other features of traditional revealed religions.

Philosophers tend to be more universalistic in outlook, less emphasis on special status of Jewish people.

Saadiah Gaon: Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Amsterdam 1647
Saadiah Gaon: Book of Beliefs and Opinions, Amsterdam 1647

Sa'adiah Ga'on: Book of Doctrines and Opinions


Neoplatonism

Rabbi Moses Maimonides
Moses Maimonides

Moses Maimonides (Rambam)

Hebrew edition of Judah Halevi's Kuzari, Berlin 1795
Hebrew edition of Judah Halevi's Kuzari, Berlin 1795

Judah Halevi