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“From Moses to Moses”: Late Medieval Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Moses’s Prophecy

The Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel
Religions 2020, 11(12), 632; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11120632
Received: 5 November 2020 / Revised: 16 November 2020 / Accepted: 21 November 2020 / Published: 25 November 2020
The paper examines how the figure of the biblical Moses was philosophically interpreted in medieval Jewish and Christian writings. It highlights a turning point in a new concept of prophecy and scriptural authority and suggests that this transformation was made complicated for both Jewish and Christian intellectuals by the appearance of Moses Maimonides, who was most influential in promoting the Muslim model of philosophic interpretation of prophecy, and at the same time confusingly emerged as a living manifestation of semi-biblical authority. Against Jewish exclusivist interpretation of Mosaic law as the leading polemical argument to encounter competing revelations, the first part of my paper points out a mechanism of “Jewish successionism”, i.e., the re-interpretation of the biblical Moses as an instrument for rationalizing normative paradigmatic shift. The second, main part of the paper turns to the Latin translation of Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed, placing it in the midst of a crucial western Latin turn into a new phase of engagement with Old Testament concept of prophecy. A short comparison between some prominent twelfth century figures and later Scholastic thought demonstrates the central role of the new Arab Aristotelianism in general, and that of Maimonides in particular. Maimonides reception among the schoolman will culminate in the writings of Meister Eckhart, exposing the full potentiality of the double appearance of the Egyptian (Rabbi) Moses. View Full-Text
Keywords: Moses; bible exegesis; medieval philosophy; Moses Maimonides; Hildegard of Bingen; Thomas Aquinas; Meister Eckhart Moses; bible exegesis; medieval philosophy; Moses Maimonides; Hildegard of Bingen; Thomas Aquinas; Meister Eckhart
MDPI and ACS Style

Schwartz, Y. “From Moses to Moses”: Late Medieval Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Moses’s Prophecy. Religions 2020, 11, 632. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11120632

AMA Style

Schwartz Y. “From Moses to Moses”: Late Medieval Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Moses’s Prophecy. Religions. 2020; 11(12):632. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11120632

Chicago/Turabian Style

Schwartz, Yossef. 2020. "“From Moses to Moses”: Late Medieval Jewish and Christian Interpretation of Moses’s Prophecy" Religions 11, no. 12: 632. https://doi.org/10.3390/rel11120632

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