The Baron Book prize for 2015 was awarded to: Elisha Russ-Fishbane of New York University for Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A Study of Abraham Maimonides and His Times (Oxford University Press)
Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt: A Study of Abraham Maimonides and His Times is a work of original scholarship. It is meticulously researched, provides excellent translation of primary texts, and is written in an uncommonly accessible style for the benefit of the specialist and the non-specialist reader alike. Russ-Fishbane provides us with a source-driven study of the seminal figure Abraham Maimonides, concentrating on his trajectory as a singularly important Jewish religious, intellectual, and communal authority in thirteenth century Egypt. Russ-Fishbane guides the reader in his interpretation of published texts and Genizah materials to construct a richly detailed picture of Abraham, including his role as guardian of the heritage of his father, Moses Maimonides, and his interaction with the Islamic milieu, especially Sufi practices and thinking. Judaism, Sufism, and the Pietists of Medieval Egypt thus constitutes a major contribution to the history of religion.