Maimonides and miracles: The growth of a (dis)belief

Y. Tzvi Langermann

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22 Scopus citations


This study approaches Maimonides' attitude towards miracles as a longterm process. The young Maimonides saw no room nor any need for miracles. Science provided a full and satisfactory explanation for events within a deterministic cosmos. However, as he matured, his doubts concerning the capacity of science to account for all events intensified; he increasingly realized that some features of the cosmos, or events in Jewish history, cannot be accounted for fully by any explanatory system. As his disbelief in the unlimited power of scientific explanation grew, he became more receptive to the possibility of miracles. For miracles are nothing other than events or features that, while not being totally at odds with science, cannot be fully accounted for in any theory. Maimonides' ultimate acceptance of miracles was, therefore, his ultimate acceptance of his own doubts and uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-172
Number of pages26
JournalJewish History
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2004


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