Jean of Avignon: Conversing in Two Worlds

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The intra-religious dialogue of medieval converts from Judaism to Christianity is evident in the works of the fourteenth-century Sevillian physician Jean of Avignon (known in Hebrew as Moshe ben Shmuel of Roquemaure). Jean, a translator of Bernard of Gordon's Lilium medicine into Hebrew and the author of Sevillana medicina, was recurrently engaged in translating, transmitting, and debating religious notions and terms to his readers of both faiths. The medical arena in which this religious encounter took place, a common ground in many ways, enabled conveying and contemplating religious knowledge and practices. Sentiments of discord between faiths and societies alongside attempts to resolve such conflicts emerging in both of these works; the texts seem to evoke Jean's complex inner vicissitudes between the two worlds. This essay discusses the personal religious tension in Jean's works, granting significant attention to the special value of the medical context in serving as a terrain upon which the religious dialogue is worked through.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-192
Number of pages28
JournalMedieval Encounters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 2016


  • Bernard of Gordon
  • Hebrew-to-Latin translation
  • Jean of Avignon
  • Juan de Aviñon
  • Lilium medicine
  • Moshe ben Shmuel of Roquemaure
  • Sevillana medicina
  • medieval medicine

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Language and Linguistics
  • History
  • Religious studies
  • Linguistics and Language


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