Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Religious Studies

First Advisor

Sandra Lee Dixon

Second Advisor

Sarah Pessin

Third Advisor

Andrea L. Stanton

Fourth Advisor

Naomi Reshotko


Interpretation, Maimonides, Metaphor, Ricoeur


Ambiguous language haunts countless fields of human inquiry. The solution to its confounding nature has repeatedly been to reduce language to its face-value, launching an endless search for the right meaning. This paper aims to examine two thinkers who reveal language to be a more complicated matter. Paul Ricoeur and Moses Maimonides demonstrate the importance of language’s complexity through close examinations of metaphor. While we find different understandings of metaphor, reflecting different metaphysics within each author’s study, both Ricoeur and Maimonides contribute to the notion that language’s complexity is not to be eliminated through literal readings, but engaged to open up depths of understanding. For the lived religious experience, this means commitment to scripture as the word of God does not require a fundamentalist reading of it. Likewise, in the implementation of philosophical principles, the search for appropriate application need not require a search for and return to original meaning.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Claire E. Molk


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

62 p.


Religion, Philosophy, Metaphysics