The Voice of Written Texts and the Myth of Jewish Andalusian Freethinking
1. Dezember 2020
Foto: UHH/SUB HH
A Maimonides Lecture by Prof. Sarah Stroumsa, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
In the search for the roots of radical enlightenment, al-Andalus (Islamic Spain) has long been mentioned as a possible venue for ideas that question the authority of religion. To prove this speculative claim, scholars rely on the analysis of a small number of medieval texts. The present paper focuses on the way we read such texts and offers some tools to evaluate their bearing on the existence of sceptical trends in this period. It is argued that in the early Middle Ages, genuine freethinking was as rare among Andalusian Jews as it was in the rest of the Islamicate world.
Sarah Stroumsa is the Alice and Jack Ormut Professor Emerita of Arabic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she taught in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and the Department of Jewish Thought. She also served as vice-rector (2003–2006) and rector (2008–2012) of the university. She is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities and the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a laureate of the Humboldt Research Award, and a recipient of the Leopold Lucas Prize.