The Legend of the Middle Ages

Philosophical Explorations of Medieval Christianity, Judaism, and Islam

Rémi Brague

Rémi Brague

Translated by Lydia G. Cochrane
304 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2009
Cloth $40.00 ISBN: 9780226070803 Published April 2009
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9780226070810 Published March 2011

This volume presents a penetrating interview and sixteen essays that explore key intersections of medieval religion and philosophy. With characteristic erudition and insight, Rémi Brague focuses less on individual Christian, Jewish, and Muslim thinkers than on their relationships with one another. Their disparate philosophical worlds, Brague shows, were grounded in different models of revelation that engendered divergent interpretations of the ancient Greek sources they held in common. So, despite striking similarities in their solutions for the philosophical problems they all faced, intellectuals in each theological tradition often viewed the others’ ideas with skepticism, if not disdain. Brague’s portrayal of this misunderstood age brings to life not only its philosophical and theological nuances, but also lessons for our own time.

David Burrell | Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
"This account will illuminate novices as well as adepts embarked on a shared journey into a fascinating world. . . . By using contemporary reflections on hermeneutics and other sophisticated tools . . . [Brague] deftly introduces us into this world in a way that helps us attain the consciousness demanded to understand 'the other,' so as to better appreciate our own limitations. In fact, that correlative activity of coming to understand ourselves as we seek to understand the other fairly defines the journey on which these essays launch us. So it could best be described as an exercise in self-understating, facilitated by a rich store of historical examples, deftly employed."
Adam Kirsch | Nextbook
"Brague shows [how] the subtle, often acrimonious interplay between Judaism, Christianity and Islam helped to create the advanced thought of the Middle Ages—a phrase that, after reading Brague's book, no longer sounds like an oxymoron."
Library Journal
"Highly recommended to scholars of the Middle Ages as well as those in philosophy and religion more generally. They will all be enlightened by careful reading of this book."
Choice
"All of the essays offer fascinating insights into all manner of topics of interest to medieval thinkers. . . . Brague shows not only an encyclopedic and detailed grasp of his sources, but also a penchant for tying these to contemporary interests in intriguing, creative ways. . . . This truly is an informative, engaging, and very readable book that will be very useful to anyone with an intellectual interest in things medieval."
Contents

Preface

Translator’s Note

Interview

PART I GENERALITIES

1 The Lessons of the Middle Ages

2 The Meaning and Value of Philosophy in the Three Medieval Cultures

3 Just How Is Islamic Philosophy Islamic?

PART II COMMON THEMES

4 Is Physics Interesting? Some Responses from Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages

5 The Flesh: A Medieval Model of Subjectivity

6 The Denial of Humanity: On the Judgment “These People Are Not Men” in Some Ancient and Medieval Texts

PART III COMPARISONS

7 Three Muslim Views of the Christian City

8 The Jihad of the Philosophers

PART IV FILIATIONS

9 Inclusion and Digestion: Two Models of Cultural Appropriation, in Response to a Question of Hans-Georg Gadamer (Tübingen, September 3, 1996)

10 The Interpreter: Reflections on Arabic Translations

11 The Entry of Aristotle in Europe: The Arab Intermediary

12 The Extra-European Sources of Philosophic Europe

PART V PRICKED BALLOONS

13 Some Mediterranean Myths

14 Was There Any Dialogue between Religions in the Middle Ages?

15 Geocentrism as the Humiliation of Man

16 Was Averroes a “Good Guy”?

Appendix: Original Texts

Notes
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: Philosophy

Events in Philosophy

Keep Informed

JOURNALs