Maimonides Review

Maimonides Review - Maimonides Review Often known by an...

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Maimonides Review Often known by an acronym for his name – Rambam- Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) must be ranked as one of the greatest intellects of the Middle Ages, although one would be hard pressed to find his intellectual superior in any age. He was, and is, considered an outstanding scholar of the Jewish Law, an expert on Greek and Islamic philosophy, and one of the foremost physicians of his day. Maimonides’ life was not without trial. His family was forced to leave his native Cordoba when the Almohad dynasty took control of Islamic Spain. After stops in Morocco and the Holy Land, the family settled in Egypt, where Maimonides was appointed leader of the Jewish community. Unfortunately his brother David drowned at sea while trying to improve the family business with a trading trip to India, taking much of the family’s savings with him. This forced Maimonides to resume active practice as a physician. He was so successful that in addition to a thriving practice carried on from his home he became the personal physician to the royal family. He died in Egypt in 1204, but where he was buried is a matter of dispute. Published in 1190, The Guide of the Perplexed, was written for the educated public, and unlike his celebrated Mishneh Torah , not intended for professionals. Its aim is to aid educated believers who are struggling with their faith because of either conflicting interpretations of Scripture or finding their faith challenged by the ‘new learning’ particularly Aristotle and his Arab Commentators. As we have noted, Aristotle’s insistence that the world is eternal is in direct conflict with the Bible’s insistence that God created the world from nothing – God was the only existent and brought everything else into existence. We saw that many Islamic thinkers struggled with the same problem an often turned to Neo-Platonism for help. Neo-Platonists hold that the universe emanates from God, with unformed matter being the last stop of the emanation. Because this unformed matter cannot be defined, the Neo-Platonist theologians
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This note was uploaded on 02/15/2012 for the course SF II Social Fou taught by Professor Johnross during the Spring '12 term at NYU.

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Maimonides Review - Maimonides Review Often known by an...

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