Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Averroes (properly Ibn Roshd, 1126-98), one of the two greatest Arab scholars of the Middle Ages.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Born at Cordova, he left that city, when the Spaniards captured it, for Seville, and he was, in accordance with the Arab custom of putting learned men in office, appointed Governor, and held the position for twenty years. He practised medicine, but he was chiefly occupied with philosophy, following Aristotle with material modifications. He had phenomenal industry and a genius probably next to that of Aristotle, but the fanatical Spaniards burned all his works; though Aquinas was much impressed by them, and Dante (Canto IV) hailed him as one of the great figures of his age. Owing to the loss of his works and his need to avoid rousing the Moslem fanatics, who at one time got him degraded and imprisoned, it is difficult to determine his precise position, but experts agree that he substituted a vague Pantheism or World-Soul for Aristotle's (impersonal) God and did not believe in personal immortality. The translation of some of his works into Latin by Michael Scotus for Frederic II gave them a good deal of influence in the cities of North Italy, and was an important factor in the spread of scepticism, particularly as regards immortality, in them. See Renan's Averroes et l'Averroisme (1852).


Return to Joseph McCabe Selection

Back to Table of Contents

Scanning, HTML Rae West. First upload 98-06-15