Maimonides in His World: Portrait of a Mediterranean Thinker by Sarah Stroumsa

By Sarah Stroumsa

Whereas the nice medieval thinker, theologian, and health professional Maimonides is stated as a number one Jewish philosopher, his highbrow contacts together with his surrounding global are usually defined as similar basically to Islamic philosophy. "Maimonides in His World" demanding situations this view through revealing him to have wholeheartedly lived, breathed, and espoused the wealthy Mediterranean tradition of his time.

Sarah Stroumsa argues that Maimonides is such a lot thoroughly considered as a Mediterranean philosopher who regularly interpreted his personal Jewish culture in modern multicultural phrases. Maimonides spent his complete lifestyles within the Mediterranean area, and the non secular and philosophical traditions that fed his proposal have been these of the broader international within which he lived. Stroumsa demonstrates that he used to be deeply encouraged not just by way of Islamic philosophy yet via Islamic tradition as an entire, proof of which she unearths in his philosophy in addition to his correspondence and criminal and medical writings. She starts with a concise biography of Maimonides, then conscientiously examines key elements of his proposal, together with his method of faith and the complicated international of theology and non secular rules he encountered between Jews, Christians, Muslims, or even heretics; his perspectives approximately technology; the colossal and unacknowledged influence of the Almohads on his suggestion; and his imaginative and prescient of human perfection.

This insightful cultural biography restores Maimonides to his rightful position between medieval philosophers and affirms his imperative relevance to the research of medieval Islam.

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Mélanges d’islamologie: Volume dédié à la mémoire d’Armand Abel par ses collègues, ses élèves et ses amis (Leiden, 1974), 172–96. 28 See Maimonides’ reference to the ships loading oil at Seville and sailing on the Guadalquivir to Alexandria; Responsa 2: 576. 9 (Dalala, 187; Pines, 269), according to which he has met the son of Ibn al-Aflah of Seville. There is, however, no positive proof for the assertion that he sojourned all this time (about twelve years) in southern Spain; compare Bos’s “Translator’s Introduction,” in Maimonides, Medical Aphorisms, xix.

Maimónides y su época (Madrid, 2007), 103. Throughout the present book, I use “Muslim” to denote that which belongs specifically to the religion of Islam or to the believers of that religion, whereas “Islamic” denotes the culture developed in the world of Islam, by Muslims as well as by others. 26 The Islamic polity that Maimonides encountered during his lifetime was not made of one cloth, and his life was spent in no less than four major political entities: 1. From his birth in 1138 in Cordoba until 1148, Maimonides lived under the rule of the Berber dynasty of the Murabitun (or Almoravids, according to their Latinized name) in al-Andalus.

The Trias of Maimonides: Jewish, Arabic and Ancient Cultures of Knowledge (Berlin, 2005), 85–106. Compare George Saliba, Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, (Cambridge, Mass. and London, 2007). 64 See Hopkins, “The Languages of Maimonides,” 97; and cf. Saliba, Islamic Science and the Making of the European Renaissance, 3, who wrongly assumes that for writing on Jewish law Maimonides chose Hebrew. 65 Quite rightly, Maimonides did not believe that the different script would prevent curious Muslims from getting to know the contents of his work.

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