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Benjamin Zemmel

PhD Student 

Research interests: Jewish Intellectual History | Medieval Astrology | Science in Biblical Exegesis | Magic and Jewish Law | Talmudic Studies | Maimonides | Nahmanides

Year PhD started: 2022


Between Sinai and the Stars: Astrology in Medieval Jewish Theological and Philosophical Writings 

I am writing a history of medieval Jewish astrology from Jewish theological and Biblical exegetical writings. This involves looking at the relationship between astrology and prophecy, astral determinism and free choice, astral magic and the mitzvot (Jewish commandments) amongst other related studies. I aim to demonstrate how astrology was an important part of Jewish theological discussions in the Middle Ages. I am focusing on the writings of Maimonides and Nahmanides, the two giants of medieval Spanish Talmudic scholarship and philosophy.

Supervisors: Prof. Charles Burnett and Prof. Bill Sherman