Y. Tzvi Langermann, "Before Maimonides: A New Philosophical Dialogue in Hebrew" (Brill, 2023)


All can agree that the achievement of Moses Maimonides (d. 1204) set the standard for subsequent works of "Jewish philosophy". But just what were the contours of philosophical-scientific inquiry that Maimonides replaced? A fairly large array of diverse texts have been studied, but no comprehensive picture has yet emerged. The newly discovered Hebrew dialogue published here, Before Maimonides: A New Philosophical Dialogue in Hebrew (Brill, 2023), has points of contact of various depth with most of the major works of pre-Maimonidean thought. It shares as well influences from without, especially from the Islamic kalam. The dialogue thus presents, in an engaging literary form, a clear and detailed snapshot of pre-Maimonidean philosophy and science.

Y. Tzvi Langermann teaches in the Department of Arabic at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel.

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