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

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"The book delves into even more detail to discover many of Maimonides' innovations and the way in which they were enabled. Critical to Stroumsa's reading of Maimonides is her insistence that it is impossible to understand any of his texts without taking into account the scholarship of the Arabo-Islamic thinkers of his day."--David Shasha, Huffington Post

"[T]he methodological underpinnings of Stroumsa's approach are rock-solid and eminently worthwhile. Stroumsa is never strident or lacking in critical self-reflection. For every bold position she stakes out, she raises the contra-indications and gives them their due. In trying to understand the personal biography, the intellectual, the theologian, the scientist, and the halakhic authority, Stroumsa has conceived the richest portrait yet of 'The Great Eagle.'"--Ronald C. Kiener, Journal of the American Oriental Society

"Stroumsa brings her strengths as a scholar of Arabic thought to bear on Maimonides' biography and life’s work."--Marc Herman, Sephardic Horizons


"Stroumsa paints a richly documented, nuanced portrait of Maimonides as a bold, open thinker whose sometimes revolutionary conception of Judaism draws freely from the multiple philosophical, theological, scientific, and ideological currents of his contemporary Mediterranean world. This intellectual biography covers the full range of Maimonides' writings, from law and philosophy to polemics and medicine, exposing novel and unexpected sources, for example, in Islamic theology and Almohad thought. Stroumsa points scholars in new directions for future study of the greatest Jewish figure of the Middle Ages."--Josef Stern, University of Chicago

"A stimulating, absorbing read. Stroumsa is a valuable and unique voice in a lively complex of debates about this extraordinary thinker. Her fundamental point--that Maimonides must be understood as a well-read and active participant in a diverse multiconfessional culture--is emphatically confirmed by sheer accumulation of data and clever argument."--Everett K. Rowson, New York University

"This is a serious piece of scholarship filled with many very fine insights. Sarah Stroumsa is a leading scholar in Judeo-Arabic studies, and one of those whose writings I value most."--Steven Harvey, Bar-Ilan University

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File created: 11/22/2015

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