Funkenstein, Amos

views updated


FUNKENSTEIN, AMOS (1937–1995), scholar. Born in Tel Aviv, he was educated in Palestine and Berlin where he got his doctorate in 1965. While in Berlin, he was active in smuggling refugees from east to west Berlin. He was professor of history and philosophy of science at Tel Aviv University, the scientific revolution, and Bible commentary in medieval and modern times. Among his books was Theology and the Scientific Imagination from the Middle Ages to the 17th Century. He wrote on Maimonides and his views on messianism, on the connection between the thought of Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, and on contemporary Jewish religious movements and their messianic ideology. In his writings he challenged the traditional view of the contradiction between science and religion and noted the contribution of Christian theology to the development of the new scientific outlook, from 1980. He also founded the departments for Jewish history at ucla and at Stanford and Berkeley, California. In Berkeley he was professor of Jewish history and culture. He specialized in many fields of research including Jewish thought and culture, general intellectual history. In 1995 he was awarded the Israel Prize for historical research.