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The Peculiar History Of Aristotelianism Among Spanish Jews

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Chapter Summary

The reception of Aristotelianism by medieval Jews differed widely from one community to another. This chapter offers an initial, preliminary study of the Spanish pattern and compares it to the Provençal. Before turning to the story of Spanish-Jewish Aristotelianism the chapter addresses the more ordinary story of Provence. In contrast to Provence, Aristotelianism was almost totally in abeyance in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Christian Spain. While Spanish immigrants promoted the cultural flowering in Provence and Italy, those who stayed in the Iberian Peninsula turned in different directions. Jewish Aristotelianism in Spain revived when Scholasticism was making first strides in the Spanish universities. It is also likely that fifteenth-century Spanish Jews found Aristotelianism attractive because it was a neutral zone in which Jews, conversos, and Christians could interact in relative peace.

Keywords: Christian Spain; Iberian Peninsula; Provençal-Jewish Aristotelianism; Spanish Jews



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