Chapter 6 seeks to re-frame or redescribe this so-called golden age by arguing that Islam provided the intellectual and religious context for the florescence of Judaism at a formative moment in its development. In this, the context was little different from what went on in the late antique period. The chapter argues that the border separating Jew from Muslim in this period may still be more retrofitted from the present than real. It examines some key Jewish thinkers—Judah Halevi, Baḥya ibn Paqūda, Abraham ibn Ezra, Moses Maimonides—with the aim of showing how they continued to destabilize the line between Judaism and Islam. Even in the late twelfth century, “Islamic Judaism” existed subsequent to that fact that rabbinic Judaism had been historically overdetermined as normative. Indeed, so much so that rabbinic Judaism continued to absorb many elements of Islam to change not only its margins but also its center.
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