Maimonides: Guide of the Perplexed

A seemingly constant question in our search for knowledge is, "What is the relationship between faith and reason?" Maimonides, a physician and one of the greatest rabbinic scholars of the medieval era, explores the intersection of faith and reason in his Guide of the Perplexed. Written as a three-volume series as letters to his student, Maimonides provides guiding precepts on the nature of God, the physical universe, and the reconciling of Aristotelian philosophy with the religious teachings of the Torah. With his emphasis on building faith through reason, Maimonides’s Guide was highly influential, not only for Jewish scholars, but also for Christian and Muslim religious philosophers, most notably Thomas Aquinas.

—Patrick Thomas, PhD, Assistant Professor, English

Jennifer Speed of the College of Arts and Sciences discusses Moses Maimonides’s exploration of the intersections between faith and reason in medieval Jewish thought; she also reflects on the impact of Maimonides’s work on theological and philosophical thinking in Christian and Islamic traditions. Interview is an online supplement to the University of Dayton exhibit Imprints and Impressions: Milestones in Human Progress—Highlights from the Rose Rare Book Collection, held Sept. 29 through Nov. 9, 2014.