In this episode, David examines the philosophical ideas and innovations of a towering figure of the early Middle Ages, Sa’adya ibn Yusuf al-Fayumi, commonly known as Sa’adya Gaon.
Watch the lecture here.
He discusses Sa’adya Gaon’s exploration of:
- sources of knowledge – the rational versus the revelatory
- the kavod
- mitzvot and the commandments
- defense against accusations of Divine corporealism
- allegorisation of anthropomorphism
- Divine interaction with the world
- proofs, from yesh mei’ayin
- transcendence of G-d
He also explores Sa’adya’s discussions on the soul and his rejection of reincarnation.
David places Sa’adya’s ideas in their historical and intellectual context, particularly in relation to Islamic philosophy, the Kalam, and contemporary discussions of religious ideas.
David delivered this Zoom talk in 2020 for Caulfield Shule in his capacity as scholar-in-residence.