2010. szeptember 23.

Yossef Zvi Schwartz előadása - meghívó

The Department of Medieval Studies

of Central European University

cordially invites you

to the public lecture of

Yossef Zvi Schwartz

(Tel Aviv University)


Migration of Knowledge and the Limits of Appropriation:

On the Latin Rejection of

Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic Cosmology

at 17:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

CEU– Faculty Tower, # 409

Budapest, V. Nádor u. 9.

Dr. Yossef Schwartz is the head of the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas at Tel Aviv University. Most of his research is dedicated to Latin Hebraism in late medieval and early modern Europe and to Jewish European Hebrew intellectual history. Since 2008 he is part of the ERC-Project "Latin Philosophy into Hebrew" (together with Profs. Alexander Fidora and Harvey Hames) and the head of the ISF-Project dedicated to Christian Cabbala. Among his publications: “To Thee is silence praise”: Meister Eckhart’s reading in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed, Tel Aviv 2002; together with V. Krech (eds.), Religious Apologetics – Philosophical Argumentation, Tübingen 2004; Hillel von Verona, Vom Vollendung der Seele [Sefer tagmule ha-nefesh], übersetzt und eingeleitet von Yossef Schwartz, Freiburg 2009; together with A. Kilcher (eds.), Religious Conversion and Transformation of Knowledge (Morgen-Glanz: Zeitschrift der Christian Knorr von Rosenroth-Gesellschaft, nr. 20), Sulzbach 2010.

Sylvain Gougenheim’s polemical research, Aristote au Mont Saint-Michel: Les raciness grecques de l'Europe Chrétienne [Paris 2009] reissued a vehement debate on the evaluation of Moslem Arabic contribution to European thought. In this paper I would like to contribute to this discussion by stressing the fact that positive reception is not the only possible trans-cultural appropriation mechanism of new knowledge. Controversy might turn out to be even more significant and fruitful; as demonstrated through a closer examination of the Latin encounter with Arabic cosmology.

The cosmological framework developed by Arab (Moslem as well as Jewish) philosophers, formed a complex causal and spatial system, in which the anthropological model of body – soul – intellect became a general metaphysical principle integrated into a unified universal order. The mythical figure of the (Coranic or Biblical) angel was an integral part of this cosmic natural order. Intelligences or separate substances were conceived as parts of the mechanism of divine creation and providence. Various parts of this cosmology were systematically rejected by Christian scholastic authors, though terminological ambiguity makes it sometimes difficult to point out the exact lines of Christian consensus. In my lecture I will try to reconstruct it and to point out some basic theological and philosophical motivations lying behind the debate.

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