Religious War in the Works of Maimonides

George R. Wilkes

in Just Wars, Holy Wars, and Jihads

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199755042
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199950508 | DOI:
Religious War in the Works of Maimonides

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Maimonides’ notion of religious war was idiosyncratic within the rabbinic tradition. His views were rejected or ignored by many of his most ardent followers. Nevertheless, his treatment of the laws of war is widely credited by Jewish scholars in universities and yeshivot alike as both authoritative and representative of the normative rabbinic tradition, a basis for subsequent halakha. This conundrum derives first and foremost from Maimonides’ own iconoclastic combination of Jewish and Islamic sources. Maimonides’ Islamic models also make essential background to his selection of genres and of biblical and rabbinic sources, both as yet under-explored influences on the political and philosophical agendas underlying his treatment of war.

Keywords: Maimonides; halakha; religious war; rabbinic tradition

Chapter.  9941 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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