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The Book of Beliefs and Opinions - Introductory Treatise Chapter 3
125 - Reasoned Belief: Saadia Gaon
Saadia Gaon draws on philosophy and Islamic theology to provide a rational account of Jewish belief. Rosenblatt New Haven: Altmann Indianapolis: Please note there was a typo in the script for this one - he died in , not ! Which stands to reason given that I said earlier in the episode that he was born in
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Saadia Gaon Saadia ben Joseph — has an important place in medieval Jewish philosophy, and was a distinguished translator of Bible into Arabic , commentator, author of a Hebrew dictionary and the earliest known Hebrew grammar, and a contributor to liturgy. - The work was originally in Juedo-Arabic, Arabic written in Hebrew letters with quotations from the Torah.
In his philosophical commitment to reason and revelation as joint grounds for knowing and living, Saadya creates a space for the interplay of faith, understanding, tradition, and law. Saadya defends the truth as well as the reasonableness of Biblical and rabbinic writings within the Jewish tradition, engages in polemics against members of the Jewish community who dispense with rabbinic authority, and brings a unique blend of philosophical and theological sensibilities to bear on questions of epistemology, morality and religion. Theologian, philosopher and rabbi, Saadya's legacy includes a number of philosophical and theological treatises, 2 Arabic translations of the Bible, a [mostly non-extant] Biblical commentary in Arabic, various rabbinical, mathematical, and grammatical writings, a Hebrew dictionary, liturgical poems and a Jewish prayer book. A key figure in the life of the Jewish community, Saadya's rabbinic career included influential involvement in a controversial Jewish calendrical reform and a contested rise to the position of head Rabbi at the Sura Academy. In his general philosophical comportment, Saadya upholds the need for and importance of reason, even in a religious context of revelation and faith. In this magnum opus, Saadya aims to move people beyond the various epistemological and existential paralyses through which they are consigned to living always and only in the shadows of error and doubt.