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What is the history of science in Judaism, especially during the Middle Ages, or...
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Middle School Teacher
While some have felt scientific study to be incompatible with Judaism, the Second Temple period interpreted the Bible in such a way as to merge Jewish religious thought with Greek scientific knowledge. Many Jewish thinkers especially made valid contributions in astronomy, cosmology, medicine, and mathematics, particularly in the Middle Ages, or Medieval era.
By the early Middle Ages, 10th to 15th centuries, Jewish scholars integrated both classic Greek and Islamic scientific knowledge into their own studies. Jews who lived in Islamic territories were especially influenced by Islamic scientific knowledge, and Muslims gathered their own knowledge from Arab, Persian, Indian, and Greek scholars. Hence, both Jews in Islamic territories and Muslims studied and continued research in the areas of mathematics, astronomy, medicine, physics, alchemy, chemistry, cosmology, ophthalmology, geography, cartography, and sociology. In the early Middle Ages, Jewish scholars began writing their own scientific literature and conducting scientific studies, especially in natural sciences. Jewish scholars even began working in non-Jewish European and Middle Eastern royal courts as physicians and astronomers. One noteworthy Jewish scholar was Sa'adiah ben Yosef who was especially known for his work in Hebrew linguistics, Halakha, and Jewish philosophy. In 928, he was eventually appointed Gaon of the Talmudic academy in Israel, meaning head of the academy. A second prominent Middle Ages Jewish scholar was Mosheh ben Maimon, a physician, Jewish philosopher, and astronomer. It was in Morocco that he wrote his famous commentary on the Mishnah in 1166-1168. During the later Middle Ages, prominent Jewish philosophers like Abraham bar Hiyya, Levi ben Gershon, and the Tibbon family began translating Arabic scientific texts into Hebrew, bringing in increased interest in scientific study among Judaism.
Posted by tamarakh on March 11, 2014 at 5:00 AM (Answer #1)
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