Science and the Kuzari

Y. Tzvi Langermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Yehuda Halevi's Kuzari was written in response to the challenge posed to Judaism by a highly spiritual, nondenominational philosophy. Science, especially that embodied in the Hellenistic heritage, was a major component of philosophy; thus, if for no other reason than to make Judaism a serious competitor, Halevi had to show that the Jewish tradition as well possessed a body of scientific knowledge. The superiority of the Jewish teachings was demonstrated chiefly by appeal to the criteria of tradition, consensus, and authority, which, in Halevi's judgement, were in practice the criteria most influential in deciding scientific opinion. Despite the rather unique setting for the book, and the wide range of stances Halevi develops, the Kuzari was rather quickly and smoothly absorbed into the mainstream of Jewish religious thought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-522
Number of pages28
JournalScience in Context
Volume10
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997

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