Philo’s Heirs: Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas

Philo’s Heirs: Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas


Luis Cortest

ISBN: 9781618116307 (hardcover)
Pages: approx. 160 pp.
Publication Date: August 2017


In his monumental study of Philo of Alexandria (1947), Harry A. Wolfson argued that the philosophical method developed by Philo, in which Greek philosophy and Scripture are combined, served as the model for Christian, Jewish and Islamic thinkers until the time of Spinoza. This book, through an examination of the thought of Philo, Maimonides and Aquinas, confirms Wolfson’s thesis. There are two fundamental claims made in the book: 1) that Philo of Alexandria did, indeed, establish the method for philosophy that would survive for at least 1500 years. 2) that this same method was utilized by Moses Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas. When the reader understands these two points he or she will understand that Philo’s philosophy shaped the history of Western philosophy until the seventeenth century.

Luis Cortest is professor of Medieval Spanish Studies at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author and editor of a number of books, including The Disfigured Face: Traditional Natural Law and Its Encounter with Modernity.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Marriage of Athens and Jerusalem: Philo of Alexandria
Chapter 2: Christian Philosophy after Philo
Chapter 3: The Rabbi and the Friar at a Glance
Chapter 4: The Divine Attributes
Chapter 5: In the Beginning
Chapter 6: Divine Providence
Chapter 7: Natural Law
Chapter 8: Prophecy