Shem-Tov Falaquera (c. 1225–1295) was a student of the writings of Maimonides and a leading expositor of the medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophical traditions. His Epistle of the Debate (Iggeret ha-Vikkuah) is a delightful dialogue between two Jews, one learned in philosophy and the other not, about the permissibility and desirability of philosophical investigation by Jews.
It is perhaps the most important medieval text devoted to the theme of the relationship between reason and religion by a Jewish thinker, and it is an excellent introduction to Jewish philosophy. This volume contains the first critical edition of the Hebrew text of the Epistle of the Debate and an annotated English translation, the first into a modern language. The volume also includes essays on the sources of the Epistle and on Falaquera’s position on the relation between reason and religion.