[MaFLa] Public Lecture by Yossef Schwartz on September 29

Gyorgy Gereby gyorgy.gereby at gmail.com
Fri Sep 24 10:55:17 CEST 2010

 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.


György Geréby CSc (PhD)
associate professor
Mediaeval Studies Department
Central European University

Budapest V
Nador u 9
H-1051 Hungary

Phone/fax: + 36.1.3412634
Mobile: +36.30.9969874
Skype: ggereby4
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