Tamar Marvin deposited Sites of Controversy: Jews Debating Philosophy between Iberia and Occitania in the Fourteenth Century on Humanities Commons 6 months ago
The extant sources of the Maimonidean controversies demonstrate that medieval
Jewish intellectual culture was fundamentally sited in actual encounters and interactions.
Such interactions often took place around the practices of writing, conveying,
receiving, and discussing letters, social activities governed by communal norms.
Whether in the course of collaborating with co-writers, seeking signatories in support
of a proposition contained in the letter text, or congregating at an established meeting
to discuss a newly arrived letter, those involved in the controversies were actively, socially
engaged in addressing the problems raised by the incompatibility of the Greco-
Islamic rationalist tradition with rabbinic principles. Through a careful examination of
the rich letter collection Minḥat Qena ʾot from the Maimonidean controversy of 1304–
1306, this paper details the modes of encounter among discussants in the acrimonious