Dr. Cedric Cohen-Skalli
15 teaching hours, equivalent to 2 ECTS

Born and raised in Paris in a post-68 Jewish family, Cedric Cohen-Skalli has studied and worked in academic institutions in several countries, including France, Germany, Israel, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the United States. His first specialization was modern German philosophy (from Kant to Heidegger), especially its interpretation at the hands of French philosophers such as Levinas and Derrida (his esteemed professor). This initial focus continues to constitute the intellectual background of his research and he continues to actively study and translate texts in the field of German speaking thought – focusing primarily on the German-Jewish tradition and its broader political and theological significance as well as the history and philosophy of translation. During his Ph.D. studies (1998-2004), he studied the relationship of Jewish thinkers to Renaissance Humanism – focusing specifically on the work of Don Isaac Abravanel (1437-1508). After completing his dissertation, he wrote three books and several articles on various aspects of Jewish thought and literature during the Renaissance.

The course introduces the students to major thinkers and questions in Jewish Medieval philosophy. Reading seminal texts Saadia Gaon, Maimonides, Crescas, and Isaac and Yehuda Abravanel, we will learn about the reasons that led Jews to engage in philosophy, developing a certain accommodation of Rabbinic Judaism and philosophy. We will learn also about the reasons that led to the disappearing of Jewish medieval philosophy