Oct 31 2014

Book review: Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

ancientjewishsciencescover

As promised, my review of the 2013 publication Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature, edited by Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth L. Sanders. New York: NYU Press.


Jul 16 2014

Article: “Space Exploration: Humanity’s Single Most Important Moral Imperative”

Readers will notice that I have added space exploration to the areas covered by this blog. This is a natural extension of my ongoing interdisciplinary research spanning religion and astronomy, encompassing religious perspectives upon the place of humans — homo religiosus in particular — in the cosmos, and on our future.

An interesting perspective on this issue is found in last month’s edition of Philosophy Now –  “Space Exploration: Humanity’s Single Most Important Moral Imperative.” I haven’t been logging in much lately, but hope to begin doing so more often in a few months. I invite your comments, and will reply when I can.


Feb 10 2014

Now available online! ‘Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature’

For your reading and research enjoyment courtesy of the NYU Library’s Ancient World Digital Library, in partnership with the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World (ISAW):

Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple LiteratureEdited by Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth L. Sanders.

What is there to say but thank you?

N.B. One of my favourite introductory lines may be found in the above volume, in “Networks of Scholars: The Transmission of Astronomical and Astrological Learning between Babylonians, Greeks and Jews”, by Mladen Popović:

“What do we know about what ancient Jewish scholars knew about what Babylonian scholars knew?”


Jan 03 2014

Recent publication: ‘New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought’

newheavens

Published in 2013, New Heavens and a New Earth: The Jewish Reception of Copernican Thought, by Jeremy Brown (Oxford University Press) is described as the “first comprehensive examination of the Jewish reception of Copernican thought,” spanning four centuries of Jewish commentary on the Copernican model. In his research, Brown also demonstrates the ways in which religions tend to evolve to make room for new scientific findings, however threatening they may have initially appeared to be.

Here is the table of contents:

Introduction
Chapter 1 – Nicolas Copernicus and His Revolution
Chapter 2 – The Talmudic View of the Universe
Chapter 3 – David Gans and the First Mention of Copernicus in Hebrew Literature
Chapter 4 – The First Jewish Copernican: Rabbi Joseph Solomon Delmedigo
Chapter 5 – ”Copernicus Is the Son of Satan.” The First Jewish Rejections of Copernicus
Chapter 6 – David Nieto and Copernicanism in London
Chapter 7 – The Jewish Encyclopedias
Chapter 8 – The Eighteenth Century. Jews and Copernicus in the Newtonian Era
Chapter 9 – ”I Have Written a Book For the Young People.” David Friesenhausen’s Mosdot Tevel
Chapter 10 – The Nineteenth Century: Copernicus Without Hesitation
Chapter 11 – ”Let Copernicus and a Thousand Like Him Be Removed From the World.” Reuven Landau’s Rejection
Chapter 12 – The Modern Period
Chapter 13 – Relativity and Contemporary Jewish Geocentrists
Chapter 14 – Conclusions
Appendix
Bibliography

If any of my readers happen to pick this up, I’d welcome your comments here. Happy new year to all!

 

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Sep 10 2013

Tibetan Cosmological Models

Category: Buddhism,Cosmology,Science and Religionalobel @ 6:37 pm

scmandala

This brief but well-sourced web site may be of some interest to students of astronomy and cosmology in Tibetan Buddhism. The graphics are visually compelling.