The fourth part of David’s Jewish Philosophy lecture series considers three giants of Jewish thought from the Medieval Period:
- Maimonides, the Rambam
- Avraham ibn Daud
- Rabbi Levu ben Gershon, also known as the Ralbag.
David explores the centrality of Aristotelianism for these thinkers as well as the influence of Islamic culture on Western theology and philosophy, including within Jewish circles.
Watch the Zoom lecture here.
Some of the central ideas that David examines in this talk include:
- The Active Intellect as the agent of human knowledge
- The evolving intersection between philosophy and Judaism
- The rational and the revealed
- The attributes of the Divine
- The concept of Tselem
- The relationship between science, philosophy, and revelation
- The eternity of the world
- The proof for the existence of Gd.
With the use of his own original illustrative graphics, David provides an overview of the ideas and contributions of these extraordinary figures. He also places all three in their respective historical and intellectual contexts.
For a historical overview of the period listen to David’s series, From the Rambam to the Zohar: Jewish History of 12th & 13th centuries, starting here.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 46:52 — 24.2MB)
Continue reading “#82 A Journey Through Jewish Philosophy (4)”
This Jewish Philosophy lecture explores the emergence of Neoplatonism in Jewish philosophical thinking. David examines the ideas and works of three Jewish philosophers living during the later years of the Golden Age of Spanish Jewry:
- Shlomo Ibn Gabirol
- Baḥya ibn Paquda
- Yehudah haLevi.
Going in-depth into the contributions of Shlomo Ibn Gabirol, David discusses:
- Keter Malkhut
- Tiqun Midot haNephesh
- Mekor Ḥayyim
looking at the philosopher’s exploration of:
- Divine essence as primal cause
- Matter and form
- Divine will.
Watch the lecture here.
In the second part of the lecture, David compares the works and ideas of Baḥya ibn Paquda and Yehudah haLevi. He also discusses the latter’s philosophical enquiry presented in his book, The Kuzari.
Throughout the talk, David ensures the historical and intellectual context of the figures he examines – and their ideas – remains ever-present. He also provides clear and concise summaries of these ideas for a lay audience.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 41:46 — 26.8MB)
Continue reading “#81 A Journey Through Jewish Philosophy (3)”
This talk is the second instalment of David’s Jewish Philosophy series.
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:
– Reason and revelation, including
- sources of knowledge – the rational versus the revelatory
- the kavod
- mitzvot and the commandments
– Divine uniqueness, including
- defense against accusations of Divine corporealism
- allegorisation of anthropomorphism
- Divine interaction with the world
– Creation, including
- 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.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 39:41 — 23.1MB)
Continue reading “#80 A Journey Through Jewish Philosophy (2)”