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Intellectual History of the Islamicate World beyond Denominational Borders: Challenges and Perspectives for a Comprehensive Approach

Abstract

The study of the interrelatedness of Islamic and Jewish intellectual history relies largely on the manuscript materials preserved in the various Geniza collections. The Firkovitch manuscripts in particular provide ample material for an analysis of the different patterns of reception/transmission/cross-pollination between Jewish and Muslim scholars, though the bulk of the relevant material still needs to be cataloged and studied. This essay discusses four cases, each exemplifying a different pattern, namely, Muʿtazilī kalām and its reception among the Karaites, the case of David ben Joshua Maimonides (d. 1415), the thirteenth-century Jewish philosopher Ibn Kammūna and his reception among Jews and Muslims, and an anonymous refutation by a Rabbanite Jew against the anti-Jewish polemical work Ifḥām al-yahūd by the twelfth-century Jewish convert to Islam Samawʾal al-Maghribī.

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Correspondence to Sabine Schmidtke.

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Schmidtke, S. Intellectual History of the Islamicate World beyond Denominational Borders: Challenges and Perspectives for a Comprehensive Approach. JEW HIST 32, 199–220 (2019) doi:10.1007/s10835-019-09330-6

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Keywords

  • Firkovitch Collections
  • Jewish Muʿtazila
  • David ben Joshua Maimonides
  • Ibn Kammūna
  • Samawʾal al-Maghribī