ADVANTAGES

Maimonides’ last two works of note are the Treatise onResurrection, published in 1191, and the Letter onAstrology, published in 1195.[] The former was written in answer to the charge that whilehe may profess belief in bodily resurrection, Maimonides did not reallyhold it. The charge is not without merit given that Maimonides’conception of the afterlife is purely intellectual and that hisnaturalism makes him suspicious of miracles. He defends himself bysaying that the important issue is not whether and how resurrectionwill occur but whether it is possible for it to occur. As for thelatter, once one accepts belief in creation, the possibility of bodilyresurrection follows immediately. The Letter on Astrology waswritten at a time when many people believed that the heavenly bodiesexert influence over human events. Nevertheless, he argues that thereis no scientific basis for this belief and that it should be abandonedeven if support for it can be found in the sacred literature.

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