Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-4rdrl Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-23T01:47:09.006Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Introduction: The History of Science in Medieval Jewish Cultures

Toward a Definition of the Agenda

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Gad Freudenthal
Affiliation:
Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), Paris, and University of Geneva
Get access

Summary

Is there an object out there answering to the name, “the history of science in medieval Jewish cultures”? Or is the history of the scientific activity of medieval Jewish scholars part and parcel of the contemporary activity in the various majority cultures in which they lived, which therefore provide the appropriate contexts for examining the history of science practiced by Jewish individuals? Inasmuch as science is the universal intellectual activity par excellence, is the history of its practice by a minority culture separable from its practice by the majority culture? Isn't the very notion of a “history of science in medieval Jewish cultures” an artificial construct informed by ethnic, nationalistic, or apologetic concerns? These are some of the questions that may cross readers’ minds when they encounter the title of this book.

It is certainly not the intention to produce here a twenty-first-century remake of the “famous Jews in science” genre. Rather, the title signals the belief that the history of the absorption and practice of science within various medieval Jewish cultures constitutes a clearly identifiable object of fruitful historical investigation. Differences in local conditions notwithstanding, there is a certain inner connectedness in the story of the fortunes of science in medieval Jewish cultures. This is what makes it an intellectually legitimate and potentially fertile object of research – on the condition, to be sure, that the accounts of the practice of science by Jews are not oblivious to the respective larger, non-Jewish contexts.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Even boḥanHabermann, A. M.Tel AvivMaḥbarot le-sifrut 1956 44
Biale, DavidCultures of the Jews: A New HistoryNew YorkSchocken 2002
Gandz, SolomonStudies in Hebrew Astronomy and MathematicsNew YorkKtav 1970
Kindred, Introduction to the History of ScienceWashington, D.C. 1927
Bevan, EdwynSinger, CharlesThe Legacy of IsraelOxfordClarendon Press 1965
Goodman, MartinSorkin, DavidOxford Handbook of Jewish StudiesOxfordOxford University Press 2002
Funkenstein, AmosJewish History among the ThornsThinking Impossibilities: The Legacy of Amos FunkensteinTorontoUniversity of Toronto Press 2008
Ben-David, JosephThe Scientist's Role in SocietyEnglewood CliffsPrentice-Hall 1971
Schacter, Jacob J.Judaism's Encounter with Other Cultures: Rejection or IntegrationNorthvale, N.J., and JerusalemJason Aronson 1997

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×