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"True Felicity": Paradise in the Thought of Avicenna and Maimonides

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The attitude of Muslim and Jewish medieval philosophers to paradise was determined by their religious traditions as well as by their rationalistic philosophical approach. The present article examines the way in which medieval philosophers of the Islamic world handled this philosophic and religious heritage. In particular, it focuses on Avicenna and Maimonides, who represent, among Muslim and Jewish falasifa respectively, the first explicit and sustained attempts to translate the religious traditions on paradise into philosophical language. The article presents their interpretations of the notion of paradise, and attempt to show that, within the boundaries of their common philosophical outlook, their differing religious traditions dictated different nuances of attitude.

Affiliations: 1: The Hebrew University


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