First Prize – ‘Averroes and Maimonides’ by Kaela Cohan
Averroes and Maimonides: 12th Century Figures of Philosophy and Faith
Kaela Cohan’s paper examines the intersection between religion, philosophy, and sociopolitical circumstance through a comparative study of two key figures in the 12th century Islamic World. Averroes and Maimonides had in common a birthplace in medieval Spain, a passion for philosophy, and deep religiosity, but belonged to different religious traditions, Islam and Judaism respectively. Through an analysis of major philosophical works and life events, this paper demonstrates that Averroes and Maimonides both focused on the intrinsic relationship between philosophy and religious faith and had an enormous impact on future scholastic tradition despite living in a tumultuous sociopolitical period.