James T. Robinson
Associate Professor of the History of Judaism
M.Phil. (Oxford University)
M.A., Ph.D. (Harvard University)
James Robinson's research focuses on medieval Jewish intellectual history, philosophy, and biblical exegesis in the Islamic world and Christian Europe. His main interests are in the literary and social dimensions of philosophy, and the relation between philosophy and religion. Specific interests include ethics, political philosophy, and psychology; the history of philosophical-allegorical exegesis; the translation and reception of Greek and Arabic philosophy and science; Jewish Sufism and Neoplatonism; Maimonides, Maimonideanism, and the Maimonidean controversies; religious polemic; sermons and homilectical literature; and the interactions between the Jewish, Islamic, and Christian intellectual traditions.
His courses include Jewish Philosophy in the Middle Ages; Medieval Commentaries on Ecclesiastes; Readings in Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed; Abraham in History, Literature, and Thought (with Hans-Josef Klauck); The Jewish Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages; The Jews in Medieval Spain; Interactions between Jewish Philosophy and Literature in the Middle Ages; Jewish Heretics and Apostates in the Middle Ages; Soul, Intellect and Immortality in Medieval Jewish Thought; Science and Scripture: Jewish Philosophical Exegesis in the Middle Ages; Animal Spirituality in the Middle Ages; Readings in Abraham Ibn Ezra; Medieval Jewish Thought: Philosophy, Sufism, Kabbalah; The Buddha in Barcelona (with Matthew Kapstein); Reading Hayy ibn Yaqzan; Jerusalem during the Middle Ages: Conquest, Pilgrimage and the Imaginaire; Reading Other People’s Scriptures (with Lucy Pick); Islamic and Jewish Neoplatonism; Maimonides as Mystic?; Comparative Scriptural Interpretation (with Margaret M. Mitchell).
Prof. Robinson is also with the History of Religions and Islamic Studies areas in the Divinity School. He is a member of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies and is affiliated with Fundamentals: Issues and Texts and the Program on Medieval Studies in the College.