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Shared IdentitiesMedieval and Modern Imaginings of Judeo-Islam$
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Aaron Hughes

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190684464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190684464.001.0001

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The Manufacture of Orthodoxy

The Manufacture of Orthodoxy

(p.82) 4 The Manufacture of Orthodoxy
Shared Identities

Aaron W. Hughes

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 begins with the notion that even after the rise of Islam and its political dominance in the region, Judaism remained poorly or underdefined, with many groups exploring different paradigms of leadership and structures of authority. All of this was to change with the career of Saadya Gaon (882–942), who tried to establish a theological clarity when it came to what Judaism was or ought to be. In so doing, however, he adopted the literal (Arabic) and metaphorical (kalāmic) language of Islam. This adoption facilitated the creation of an “Islamic Judaism.” This was not only phenomenologically similar to what Muslim thinkers were creating at the same time, in the same place, and in response to similar threats to authority, but also real and historical in the sense that Judaism was fundamentally “Islamic” in its description and orientation.

Keywords:   Saadya Gaon, kalāmic, orthodoxy, Baghdad, Dāwūd al-Muqammiṣ

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