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Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages by [Richard E. Rubenstein]

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Aristotle's Children: How Christians, Muslims, and Jews Rediscovered Ancient Wisdom and Illuminated the Middle Ages 1st Edition, Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 146 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 12th-century Toledo, in Spain, a group of Christian monks, Jewish sages and Muslim teachers gathered to study a new translation of Aristotle's De Anima (On the Soul). In Rubenstein's dazzling historical narrative, this moment represents both the tremendous influence of Aristotle on these three religions and the culmination of the medieval rediscovery of his writings. In the fourth century B.C., Aristotle fashioned a new system of philosophy, focusing on the material world, whose operations he explained by a series of causes. As Rubenstein (When Jesus Became God) explains, in the second and third centuries A.D., Western Christian scholars suppressed Aristotle's teachings, believing that his emphasis on reason and the physical world challenged their doctrines of faith and God's supernatural power. By the seventh century, Muslims had begun to discover Aristotle's writings. Islamic thinkers such as Avicenna and Averroes, in the 11th and 12 centuries, embraced Aristotle's rationalist philosophy and principles of logic. Christian theologians rediscovered Aristotle through the commentaries of the monk Boethius, who argued in the sixth century that reason and understanding were essential elements of faith. There resulted a tremendous ferment in the study of Aristotle in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, culminating in the work of Thomas Aquinas, who used Aristotle's notion of an Unmoved Mover and First Cause to construct his arguments for God's existence. Aquinas, too, argued that reason was a necessary component of faith's ability to understand God and the world. Although the book purports to trace Aristotle's influence on Christianity, Islam and Judaism, it devotes more attention to Christianity. Even so, Rubenstein's lively prose, his lucid insights and his crystal-clear historical analyses make this a first-rate study in the history of ideas.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.


"A superb storyteller who breathes new life into such fascinating figures as Peter Abelard, Albertus Magnus, St. Thomas Aquinas, Roger Bacon, William of Ockham and Aristotle himself." -Los Angeles Times

"[An] accomplished, entertaining history of ideas." (
Alibi )

"Anyone who wants to understand where we are going in the great political struggles over religion, read this amazing story." (Marc Gopin
author of Holy War: Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East )

"Christianity's 'rediscovery' of Aristotle through Muslim Spain...challenges generations today to reclaim the interrelatedness of reason, science and religion." (John L. Esposito
author of What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam )

"With a lively, engaging style, ARISTOTLE'S CHILDREN is a remarkable book that illuminates the long-standing relations between faith and reason." (Edward Grant
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Indiana University )

"Relevant and captivating." (R. Scott Appleby
Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame )

"An intellectual thriller. The real-life adventure of how the great thinker was found again… told with zest and excitement." (Jack Miles
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of God: A Biography )

"A compelling account of how the rediscovery of Aristotle changed the way the Western world looked at humans, God, nature." (
School Library Journal )

"Stimulating and thought-provoking reading, overturning caricatures of scholastic philosophy while suggesting how its insights can be applied to the present." (
The Christian Century ) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B003KK5DPO
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mariner Books; 1st edition (September 20, 2004)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ September 20, 2004
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 1145 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 389 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 146 ratings

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
146 global ratings

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