Better late than never: last year, Princeton University Press published Sarah Stroumsa’s Maimonides in His World. It is a strictly historical study of the Jewish thinker who, by some of his contemporaries, was thought an equal to the prophet Moses himself. But rather than framing him as simply Jewish, as is so common, Stroumsa’s account places him in the context of Muslims, Christians, and others with whom he shared the Arabic-speaking Mediterranean world, in which he flourished. She writes in the preface:

A central idea informing this book is the belief in the capital importance of the multifocal approach to intellectual history in the world of medieval Islam. … Reading Jewish and Muslim intellectual history together is a sine qua non condition if we strive to achieve a correct, well-rounded picture of this history. Generally speaking, for a truly three-dimensional picture, what is required is actually a trifocal approach that also takes the Christians into account. Although in the intellectual history of al-Andalus (Muslim Spain) the role played by Christians was relatively marginal, they nevertheless represent a crucial piece in the puzzle of the development of this culture. One should emphasize that, for a correct application of the multifocal approach, a parallel but separate study of the various communities will not suffice.

Read the description and first chapter at Princeton University Press.