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The Legend of the Middle Ages: Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam Hardcover – April 15, 2009
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About the Author
Rémi Brague is professor of philosophy at the Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and at the University of Munich. He is the author of nine other books, including The Law of God and The Wisdom of the World, both published by the University of Chicago Press. Lydia G. Cochrane has translated numerous books for the University of Chicago Press.
Top Customer Reviews
Modern intellectuals look at science differently than their medieval, yes, predecessors did. It's not that they did not study it, but that they studied it with an eye, literally, to seek another reason why to study natural phenomena. Here's a summary of key arguments Brague makes.
The Jewish scholars of the time looked to the world as they did to the heavens. There was not the separation from the Creator that distinguishes for most moderns who enter the laboratory or the observatory today the walling off of God from matter. Modernity itself would not have emerged, the professor opines, without the tremendous push from the medievals who sought in Aristotle the summa of knowledge, next to the Prophet, for the Arabic translators in Spain who transferred Greek wisdom and ancient knowledge into their own language. Once carried over, the Greek could be discarded by the Arab: their sacred tongue then subsumed that of the infidel's vernacular.
Certainly, this differed from those Jews who learned Arabic to rescue, as it were, the Greek storehouse of Aristotelian science, or the Catholics who did the same by learning Hebrew to delve more deeply into the shared scholarship of their own times. Brague goes on to insist that the legacy of Aristotle we inherit comes from Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians who turned the texts into Latin for dissemination across Christian Europe.Read more ›