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From Maimonides To Samuel Ibn Tibbon: Interpreting Judaism As A Philosophical Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses a number of characteristic aspects of Ibn Tibbon's relationship to Maimonides. It begins with Maimonides' interpretation of Judaism as a philosophical religion. Next the chapter discusses how Ibn Tibbon presents himself and his work in relation to Maimonides and in relation to the philosophical-exegetical project that underlies the Guide. Then it explains the relationship between the interpretation of Judaism as a philosophical religion and Ibn Tibbon's part in translating the works of the Arabic falasifa. The author situates Ibn Tibbon's contribution in the context of the history of philosophy in Arabic and Hebrew and to clarify the connection between his contribution and the works of al-Fārābī and Maimonides. The opposition which the interpretation of Judaism as a philosophical religion aroused in the early thirteenth century are also briefly considered. Finally, the chapter mentions a further aspect: Ibn Tibbon's extensive criticism of Maimonides.

Keywords: Arabic falasifa; Judaism; Maimonides; philosophical religion; Samuel Ibn Tibbon



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