Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Tzvi Langermann on the Jewish reception of Proclus

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As a part of the conference, Arxai: Proclus Diadochus of Constantinople and his Abrahamic Interpreters, Prof. Tzvi Langermann will present a lecture on “Proclus and his Cameo Appearances in Jewish Writings”. The lecture will be held at Bogazici University, on Thursday, Dec 13th, at 5:30, in the Büyük Toplantı Salonu / Albert Long Hall (South Campus).

Tzvi Langermann earned his PhD in History of Science at Harvard. He teaches now at Bar Ilan University, and he publishes widely on science, philosophy, and religious thought in Judaism and Islam. His dissertation, Ibn al-Haytham’s On the Configuration of the World, was later published by Garland. Some of his publications were published in a volume in the Variorum Collected Studies series, entitled The Jews and the Sciences in the Middle Ages(1999). His most recent books are two collections,  Avicenna and his Legacy: A Golden Age of Science and Philosophy, (Brepols, Turnhout, 2010), and Monotheism and Ethics: Historical and Contemporary Intersections between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, (Brill, 2011; Studies on the Children of Abraham, vol. 2).


Only with some generosity can one call Proclus a minor figure in writings connected to the Jewish tradition. In medieval times, only one Proclan text was read, though it was not known that he was the author. Rarely can one argue for a specifically Proclan influence, rather than a more general Neoplatonic one, on a given thinker. The situation changes somewhat much later. In the seventeenth century, much of Proclus was available in Latin, and Greek, and a few Jewish intellectuals made use of them. I will have a look at the man who was most familiar with Proclus, Joseph Solomon Delmedigo, a student of Galileo, who cites Proclus’ commentary to Euclid, his ideas on eternity of the world, and his theory of light.

The conference as a whole is sponsored by the Consulate General of Greece in Istanbul, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as a part of the celebration of “400 years of diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey”, and the Consulate General of Israel in Istanbul. The university sponsors are Fatih University, Bogazici University and Yildiz Technical University.

For further questions, email David Butorac at davidbutorac@arxai.org.Image


Written by davidbutorac

December 11, 2012 at 12:22 pm

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