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Averroism, Jewish

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-J022-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 21, 2024, from

Article Summary

Averroism was enthusiastically taken up by many Jewish philosophers and adapted in a number of ways that extended its scope beyond mere repetition of Averroes’ own arguments. Jewish Averroists were particularly drawn by the potential they found in Averroism for resolving the delicate questions they faced about the relationship between philosophy and religion. The idea that both philosophy and religion are true even when they appear to produce different answers to the same question. Fascinated by the Averroistic idea that religious claims can be interpreted as popular expressions of philosophical truths, the Jewish Averroists followed up with vigour the programme of showing how to translate traditional religious statements into philosophical statements.

Many Jewish philosophers found themselves in a difficulty which they took great pains to resolve, namely, how to reconcile what they believed through faith with what they believed through reason. Averroism seems to be the solution to this problem, since it embodies a theory that explains how faith and reason are connected and makes it possiblc to be both religious and rational at the same time. It is not surprising, then, that many Jewish thinkers were attracted to this philosophical doctrine.

Citing this article:
Leaman, Oliver. Averroism, Jewish, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-J022-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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