Moses Maimonides


Maimonides (mīmŏn´Ĭdēz) or Moses ben Maimon (mī´mən), 1135–1204, Jewish scholar, physician, and philosopher, the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, b. Córdoba, Spain, d. Cairo. He is sometimes called Rambam, from the initials of the words Rabbi Moses ben Maimon. His organization and systemization of the corpus of Jewish oral law, is called the Mishneh Torah [the Torah Reviewed], known in English as the Strong Hand, and is still used as a standard compilation of halakah. He also produced a number of discourses on legal topics; a work on logic; a treatise on the calendar; and several medical books, including an important work on hygiene. His great philosophical work is the Moreh Nevukhim (1190, tr., Guide for the Perplexed, 1963), written in Arabic, in which he explained the esoteric ideas in the Bible, formulated a proof of the existence of God, expounded the principles of creation, and elucidated baffling metaphysical and religious problems. The Moreh Nevukhim, which reflects Maimonides's great knowledge of Aristotelian philosophy and attempts to reconcile it with the tenets of Jewish theology, dominated Jewish thought, helped introduce Aristotle to medieval Christian philosophers, and has exerted a profound influence upon Christian thinkers.

See biographies by S. Zeitlin (2d ed. 1955), A. J. Heschel (1981), and M. Halbertal (2013); studies by J. Melber (1968), M. Fox (1990), and S. B. Nuland (2005).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Moses Maimonides: Selected full-text books and articles

Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides By Kenneth Seeskin Oxford University Press, 2000
The Guide for the Perplexed By Moses Maimonides; M. Friedländer Dover Publications, 1956 (2nd Rev. edition)
Crisis and Leadership: Epistles of Maimonides By Moses Maimonides; Abraham S. Halkin Jewish Publication Society of America, 1985
FREE! Maimonides By David Yellin; Israel Abrahams Jewish Publication Society of America, 1903
Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People By Menachem Kellner State University of New York Press, 1991
God of Abraham By L. E. Goodman Oxford University Press, 1996
Knowing the Unknowable God: Ibn-Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas By David B. C. S. C. Burrell University of Notre Dame Press, 1986
The Many Faces of Philosophy: Reflections from Plato to Arendt By Amélie Oksenberg Rorty Oxford University Press, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Moses Maimonides: Why I Write...and How I Write"
Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One's Practices By Daniel Rynhold Oxford University Press, 2005
Librarian’s tip: Discusses Maimonidean and Soloveitchikian methods
The Jewish Religion: A Companion By Louis Jacobs Oxford University Press, 1995
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