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Rationalism and Sacred Text, 10th-12th ...

International Seminar

CSIC, Madrid, 29 November – 1 December 2006

Location: Centro de Humanidades, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones

Científicas (Duque de Medinaceli 6, 28014 Madrid) - Escuela de

Traductores de Toledo, Toledo

Organization: María Ángeles Gallego (, tel.

(00-34) 914290626 Ext. 2807, Fax (00-34) 913690940

Secretary: Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (Sorbonne)

Scientific Committee: Amira K. Bennison (Cambridge University), María

Ángeles Gallego (CSIC), Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (Université de la

Sorbonne), Maria Teresa Ortega Monasterio (CSIC).


Note: Papers are 20-25 mins long and will be followed by 10mins

discussion each; plenaries are 45mins long and will be followed by

15mins discussion.

Wednesday 29 November

9:30 – 9:45am: Registration

9:45am – 10:00am: Opening remarks

María Teresa Ortega Monasterio – Director of the Institute of

Philology, CSIC

10:00am – First Plenary (Introduced by María Teresa Ortega Monasterio)

Haggai Ben Shammai (Hebrew University – Jerusalem): "Exegesis in the

Service of Rationalist Theology: Saadya's Interpretation of

Deterministic Expressions in the Bible"

11:00am – Coffee and tea break

First Session – Chair: Amira Bennison

11:30am – Juan Pedro Monferrer (Universidad de Córdoba): "Reasoning

Tradition: Sa'adyah ha-Ga'on's Judaeo-Arabic translation of Psalm 29"

12:00am – Michael Wechsler (University of Chicago): "Parallels to the

"Five Theses" of the Mu'tazila in Yefet's ben Eli's Commentary on


12:30pm – Esperanza Alfonso (Universidad Complutense – Madrid):

"Prefaces to Proverbs: Yefet ben Eli and Saadya Gaon"

13:00 – Friedrich Niessen (Cambridge University):"The rationalistic

exegesis of a Karaite Commentary on Hosea"

13:30pm-2pm – General discussion

2pm-4pm – Lunch break

Second Session – Chair: Maribel Fierro (CSIC, Madrid)

4pm – Sabine Schmidtke (Freie Universität Berlin): "An anonymous

Jewish refutation of Samaw´al al-Maghribi´s Ifham al-yahud"

4:30pm – Amira Bennison (Cambridge University): "Vagaries of Almohadanism"

5:00pm – Delfina Serrano Ruano (CSIC, Madrid) - "A matter of faith, a matter of

reason: two Andalusian refutations against anthropomorfism"

5:30pm-6pm – General discussion

6:00pm – Coffee and tea break

Third Session – Chair: Mariano Gómez Aranda

6:30pm – Fred Astren (San Francisco State University): "Explaining and

Exploiting the Past: Strategies for Historicizing Islam by Karaites

and Others"

7:00pm – Marina Rustow (Emory University): "The social and

institutional history of Rabbanite-Karaite relations in the eleventh


7:00pm-7:30pm – General discussion

Thursday, 30 November

Location: Escuela de Traductores de Toledo, Toledo

8:30am: Bus to Toledo

10:•00am – Second Plenary (Introduced by Juan Pedro Monferrer)

Judith Olszowy-Schlanger (Sorbonne): "Rationalism in medieval Hebrew


11:00am – Coffee and tea break

Fourth Session – Chair: Judith Olszowy-Schlanger

11:30am – Salvador Peña (Universidad de Málaga): "In praise of Islamic

humanism: the learned toward the language God spoke"

12:00pm – María Ángeles Gallego (CSIC, Madrid): "Extended meanings:

Semantic rationalism in Karaite grammatical thought"

12:30pm – Gregor Schwarb: "Mutazilite theories of signification

(dalala) and the interpretation of sacred texts"

1:00pm – José Martínez Delgado (Universidad de Granada): "The

lexicographical theories of Shelomo ben Mubarak the Karaite in his

Kitab al-Taysir"

1:30pm – General discussion

2:00pm – Lunch

4:00pm: Guided Visit of Toledo

6:30pm: Return to Madrid

Friday, 1 December

9:•30am – Third Plenary (Introduced by María Ángeles Gallego)

Daniel Lasker (Ben Gurion University): "The use of reason in Rabbanite

and Karaite exegesis of the Bible"

10:30am – Coffee and tea break

Fifth Session – Chair: Delfina Serrano

11:00am – Camilla Adang (Tel Aviv University): "Rationalism and

anti-rationalism in Ibn Hazm's approach to the Scriptures"

11:30am – Mordechai Cohen (Yeshiva University – New York): "Maimonides

and Samuel ben Hofni On the Terms Peshut,o Shel Miqra and Z)?hir


12:00pm – Mariano Gómez Aranda (CSIC, Madrid): "Abraham ibn Ezra´s

rational approach to the book of Esther: tradition and innovation"

12:30pm - Omar Ali de Unzaga (Institute of Ismaili Studies – London):

"A philosophical exegesis of the Quran: The Ikhwan al-Safa"

1:00pm: General Discussion

1:30pm: Closing remarks. End of the conference

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