- Philosophy and the sciences more generally offered a kind of meeting point or neutral ground for intellectuals of different faiths. Muslims, Christians and Jews who shared an interest in Aristotle’s metaphysics or the medical theories of Galen read each others’ commentaries and elaborations on the Hellenic tradition. This is shown even by the disputes that they had with one another: using Greek logic to debate the Trinity implicitly suggested that this was a topic that could be resolved by appeal to reason.
- And many of the thinkers mentioned above argued that philosophy offered the best resource for the interpretation of sacred texts, whether the Torah, the Christian Bible, or the Quran. So it is no coincidence that in the Muslim al-Kindi, the Christian ibn ‘Adi, and the Jew Maimonides, the One God of Abrahamic tradition bears a striking resemblance to the god of Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Their shared enterprise as elite philosophers meant that they had more in common with one another than they did with most of their co-religionists.
This paper references Adamson’s others on Aeon that I’ve mostly not had time to follow up:-
- "Adamson (Peter) - If Aquinas is a philosopher then so are the Islamic theologians",
- “What can Avicenna teach us about the mind-body problem?” (Aeon: Adamson - When philosophy needed Muslims, Jews and Christians alike)
- “Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy” (Aeon: Adamson - Arabic translators did far more than just preserve Greek philosophy)
For the full text, see Aeon: Adamson - When philosophy needed Muslims, Jews and Christians alike.
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