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Philosophy and Polemics in Medieval Jewish Thought

Philosophy and Polemics in Medieval Jewish Thought

30 teaching hours, equivalent to 5 ECTS

Nov 27 – Dec 8 

Prof. Daniel Lasker            

Prof. Daniel J. Lasker is the Norbert Blechner Professor of Jewish Values in the Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel. He holds a Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. from Brandeis University, and also studied at Hebrew University. Prof. Lasker has taught at Yale University, Princeton University, University of Toronto, Ohio State University, University of Texas, University of Washington, Boston College and other institutions. He is the author of over two hundred publications in the fields of medieval Jewish philosophy (especially on the thought of Rabbi Judah Halevi), the Jewish-Christian debate, and Karaism. His most recent books are From Judah Hadassi to Elijah Bashyatchi: Studies in Late Medieval Karaite Philosophy (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2008); and The Sage Simhah Isaac Lutski. An Eighteenth-Century Karaite Rabbi. Selected Writings (Jerusalem: Ben-Zvi Institute, 2015 [Hebrew]).


Course Description

In response to the development of systematic theology by Christians and Muslims, medieval Jewish thinkers also produced a body of thought which presents Jewish beliefs by means of philosophical methods and ideas. At the same time, Jews were aware of the intellectual, political and social challenges presented by the rival religions, and they developed a polemical literature to meet these challenges. This course will examine medieval Jewish philosophical and polemical concepts and how the two were closely entwined together.

To participate in the course, please contact Paideia at info@paideia-eu.org.