“Everyone contested his views, no one denied his importance” – Gersonides through the Ages

17.02.2014 10:00 – 19.02.2014 18:00

Levi ben Gershom, known as Gersonides (1288–1344), is one of the most original Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages. An outstanding representative of the scientific Hebrew Jewish culture that flourished in southern France between the 12th and the 15th centuries, Gersonides excelled in and wrote on mathematics, logic, astronomy, physical science, metaphysics and theology, as well as biblical exegesis. In the last half-century a growing body of scholarship has considerably improved our understanding of Gersonides’ ideas and of his unique originality.
The Nachleben of Gersonides’ multifarious oeuvre has, however, strangely escaped attention. In 1889 Moritz Steinschneider wrote: “Levi’s works continued to be of importance during the entire Middle Ages. His daring originality and his independence of mind were severely castigated by the authorities of both camps: the traditionalists and the mystics branded Gersonides the philosopher as a heretic; the Averroists rejected his criticism. Everyone contested his views, no one denied his importance.” Since these words were written, not much progress has been made in the study of Gersonides’ reception.
The objective of the conference is to stimulate new research into the transmission and reception of Gersonides’ works in both Jewish and non-Jewish cultural contexts. We have in mind all the domains of knowledge in which Gersonides was active: science (logic; mathematics, including theory of music; astronomy and astrology; all branches of natural philosophy), metaphysics, biblical commentary, Halakhah, etc. We invite scholars from two kinds of backgrounds: (1) Gersonides scholars who have studied Gersonides' oeuvre and contextualized it in a diachronic perspective, and may wish to trace its later destiny in various contexts, Jewish and non-Jewish; (2) scholars of various periods and cultural contexts, Jewish and non-Jewish, who may wish to capture the “phenomenon” Gersonides from their respective perspectives.



Organisé par

Faculté des lettres
Département de philosophie

entrée libre


Catégorie: Colloque international

Mots clés: Medieval Jewish philosophy, Gersonides

Plus d'infos

Contact: gersonides