Review Of "Maimonides In His World: Portrait Of A Mediterranean Thinker" By S. Stroumsa

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This splendid study of Moses Maimonides expands readers' knowledge of the greatest Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages and his relationship to the cultural world in which he found himself. One is used to thinking of Maimonides as a talented Jewish thinker who was well acquainted with Islamic philosophy and who often drew heavily from it. However, Stroumsa (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) demonstrates that Maimonides' involvement with his own contemporary cultural world was even more extensive than in philosophy alone. Maimonides spent his entire life in the Mediterranean region, from Spain and North Africa in the west to Palestine and Egypt in the east. Stroumsa shows how widely read and deeply immersed in this diverse Mediterranean culture Maimonides was and how he interpreted his own Jewish tradition from what he learned from his participation in the broader culture, not only with regard to philosophy and religion but also in law, ethics, medicine, and science. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.


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