University of Pittsburgh
Emeritus Faculty

Bernard R. Goldstein

Religious Studies, History of Science, Ancient and Medieval Astronomy

University Professor Emeritus (PhD, Brown University, 1963). Goldstein came to Pittsburgh in 1973, and served for many years as Director of the Jewish Studies Program. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1974, and a Neugebauer Fellowship at The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in 1993. He has published extensively on the exact sciences in Antiquity and the Middle Ages in general, and on mathematics and astronomy in Hebrew and Arabic in particular, devoting special attention to the astronomical work of Levi ben Gerson (Gersonides) who lived in southern France in the fourteenth century. Among his recent articles on a medieval theme is: “Astronomy as a ‘Neutral Zone’: Interreligious Cooperation in Medieval Spain”, Medieval Encounters, 15 (2009), 159–174. He has also published with José Chabás a series of books on late medieval astronomy: Astronomy in the Iberian Peninsula: Abraham Zacut and the Transition from Manuscript to Print (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2000); The Alfonsine Tables of Toledo (Dordrecht: Kluwer, 2003); and The Astronomical Tables of Giovanni Bianchini (Leiden: Brill, 2009). Since retirement his research interests have become more varied, and include joint monographs and papers with Giora Hon: From Summetria to Symmetry: The Making of a Revolutionary Scientific Concept (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008); and “Symmetry and asymmetry in electrodynamics from Rowland to Einstein”, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics, 37 (2006), 635–660. A list of his publications prior to 2003 appeared in Centaurus, 45 (2003), as part of a Festschrift in his honor.