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Maimonides’ "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation

A History from the Thirteenth Century to the Twentieth

Moses Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed is the greatest philosophical text in the history of Jewish thought and a major work of the Middle Ages. For almost all of its history, however, the Guide has been read and commented upon in translation—in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, French, English, and other modern languages—rather than in its original Judeo-Arabic. This volume is the first to tell the story of the translations and translators of Maimonides’ Guide and its impact in translation on philosophy from the Middle Ages to the present day. 
A collection of essays by scholars from a range of disciplines, the book unfolds in two parts. The first traces the history of the translations of the Guide, from medieval to modern renditions. The second surveys its influence in translation on Latin scholastic, early modern, and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, as well as its impact in translation on current scholarship. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book will be essential reading for philosophers, historians, and religious studies scholars alike.

464 pages | 14 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2019

Jewish Studies

Medieval Studies

Philosophy: History and Classic Works

Political Science: Classic Political Thought


"Maimonides’ ‘Guide of the Perplexed’ in Translation: A History from the Thirteenth Century to the Twentieth, is an excellent collection of discussions of the translations of the Guide and their cultural effect."

Journal of Jewish Studies

Table of Contents

Josef Stern

Part I: The History of Translations of the Guide

1.         Moreh ha-nevukhim: The First Hebrew Translation of the Guide of the Perplexed
James T. Robinson

2.         Al-Ḥarizi’s Translation of the Guide of the Perplexed in Its Cultural Moment
Raymond P. Scheindlin

3.         Dux neutrorum and the Jewish Tradition of the Guide of the Perplexed
Caterina Rigo

4.         Pedro de Toledo’s Mostrador e enseñador de los turbados: The Christian Reception of Maimonides’ Guide in Fifteenth-Century Spain
Luis M. Girón Negrón

5.         The Second Ibn Tibbon: Salomon Munk and His Translation of the Guide
Paul B. Fenton

6.         Michael Friedländer’s Pioneering English Translation of the Guide
Warren Zev Harvey

7.         The Elegance of Precision: On Pines’s Translation of the Literary Parts of the Guide
Sarah Stroumsa

8.         Pines’s Translation of the Guide: Alternative Possibilities
Alfred L. Ivry

9.         Rabbi Yosef Qafih’s Modern Medieval Translation of the Guide
Y. Tzvi Langermann

10.       Michael Schwarz’s Hebrew Translation of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed
Aviram Ravitsky

11.       Key Terms in Translations of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed
Steven Harvey

Part II: The Impact of the Guide in Translation

12.       Maimonides and Aquinas on Divine Attributes: The Importance of Avicenna
Richard C. Taylor

13.       The Guide of the Perplexed in Early Modern Philosophy and Spinoza
Steven Nadler

14.       Shlomo Pines and the Rediscovery of Maimonides in Contemporary Philosophy
Kenneth Seeskin

15.       Maimonides as a Student of Islamic Religious Thought: Revisiting Shlomo Pines’s “Translator’s Introduction” and Its Comments on al-Ghazālī
Frank Griffel

Editions and Translations of the Guide
List of Contributors

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