Science in Bet Midrash: Studies in Maimonides

Science in Bet Midrash: Studies in Maimonides

109.00

Menachem Kellner

Series: Emunot: Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah
ISBN: 9781934843215 (hardcover) 
Pages: 392 pp.
Publication Date: April 2009

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Science in the Bet Midrash explores the religious thought of Moses Maimonides (1138–1204), one of the most influential Jews of the last thousand years. While covering many aspects of his religious philosophy, these essays focus on the way Maimonides elucidated and expressed the universalistic thrust of the Jewish tradition. Maimonides construed the election of Israel as a challenge, not an endowment. This challenge is ultimately addressed to all human beings, not just to Jews.


Menachem Kellner (PhD Washington University in St. Louis) was born and educated in the United States and has lived in Israel for the last 30 years. Author, editor, or translator of 16 books and over 100 scholarly articles, Kellner’s most recent books include Maimonides’ Confrontation with Mysticism (2006), Science in the Bet Midrash (2009), and Torah in the Observatory (2010).


Probing and stimulating.
— Shlomo Brody, Tradition
Professor Menachem Kellner is an expert on Maimonides. He writes clearly and logically in easy-to-read and vibrant language.
— Dr. Israel Drazin, The Jewish Eye
The essays in this book are bold, clear, and authoritative. Anyone interested in Maimonides or the relation between science and religion will want to read them closely and then go back and read them again.
— Kenneth Seeskin, Northwestern University, editor of the SUNY Press series in Jewish Philosophy

Table of Contents

By Way of Personal Introduction
Acknowledgements

PART ONE: APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF MAIMONIDES
Introduction to Part One, Approaches to the Study of Maimonides
1. Reading Rambam – Approaches to the Interpretation of Maimonides
2. Strauss’ Maimonides vs. Maimonides’ Maimonides: Could Maimonides have been both Enlightened and Orthodox?
3. The Literary Character of the Mishneh Torah: On the Art of Writing in Maimonides’ Halakhic Works
4. Is Maimonides’ Ideal Person Austerely Rationalist?
PART TWO: RELIGIOUS FAITH AND DOGMA
Introduction to Part Two, Religious Faith and Dogma
5. Heresy and the Nature of Faith in Medieval Jewish Philosophy
6. What is Heresy?
7. Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles and the Structure of the Guide of the Perplexed
8. Maimonides, Crescas, and Abravanel on Ex. 20:2:
A Medieval Jewish Exegetical Dispute
9. Could Maimonides Get into Rambam’s Heaven?
10. Returning the Crown to its Ancient Glory: Marc Shapiro’s The Limits of Orthodox Theology: Maimonides’ Thirteen Principles Reappraised
11. The Virtue of Faith
PART THREE: SCIENCE AND TORAH
Introduction to Part Three, Science and Torah
12. On the Status of the Astronomy and Physics in Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah and Guide of the Perplexed: A Chapter in the History of Science
13. Maimonides on the Science of the Mishneh Torah: Provisional or Permanent?
14. Maimonides’ Allegiances to Science and Judaism
15. Faith, Science, and Orthodoxy
PART FOUR: UNIVERSALISM
Introduction to Part Four, Universalism
16. Chosenness, Not Chauvinism: Maimonides on the Chosen People
17. Was Maimonides Truly Universalist?
18. Maimonides’ True Religion – for Jews, or All Humanity?
19. Spirituality and a Life of Holiness –How One Lives a Holy Life and Who Can Do It
20. Epilogue

Works cited
Index