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Destiny and Choice: Maimonides’ “Letter on Astrology”

Date: Thursday, Aug. 19 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

How much control do you have over your own life? Is your future governed by chance? Set in stone? Up to you? Is it indeed the case that — as the Yiddish saying goes — “man plans and God laughs”? Although discredited today as a pseudo-science, Astrology in the ancient and medieval world served as the answer for why men and women behaved the way they did. For people of faith who believed in a moral universe requiring human free-will, another answer was necessary. In this seminar, we will consider these questions, possible answers, and their political implications. Maimonides, the greatest Jewish philosopher, will be our guide, and his “Letter on Astrology” will be our text.

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