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Maimonides:
Life and Thought
Moshe Halbertal

Book Description | Reviews
Introduction [in PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Introduction 1
Chapter One: Moses the Man
"Moses of his Generation" 7
Andalusia: 1138-1159 (?) 14
The Maghrib and Persecution: 1159-1166 23
Fustat: 1166-1177 33
Yemen and Islam: 1172 47
In the Sultan's Palace: 1178-1204 56
The Man Moses 74
Chapter Two: The Commentary on the Mishnah, the Book of Commandments, and the Philosophy of halakhah
In the Laboratory of the Commentary on the Mishnah 92
The Purpose of the Commentary on the Mishnah 96
Controversy, Truth, and Interpretation 99
The Book of Commandments and the Structure of halakhah 107
On the Place of Revelation 111
Revelation and Interpretation 116
Interpretation in halakhah: Between Explanatory Principles and
Deductive Principles 120
Halakhah and Prophecy 126
Chapter Three: Ethics and Belief in the Commentary on the Mishnah
Principles of Faith 134
What Is Man: Immortality of the Soul, and the Afterlife 137
Resurrection of the Dead 142
The Ethics of Virtue and the Ethics of Obligation 148
The Sage and the Pietist 154
Nobility and Saintliness 158
Chapter Four: What Is Mishneh Torah?
The Aims and Qualities of the Compilation 164
Mishneh Torah and the History of halakhah 168
The Mishnah of Rabbi Judah the Prince and Mishneh Torah 171
The Authority of the Talmud and the Authority of the Geonim 175
Mishneh Torah: The Moderate and Radical Alternatives 181
Mishneh Torah and Jewish Curriculum 184
Ambiguity and Codification 189
Codification and Self-Esteem 194
Chapter Five: Philosophy and halakhah in Mishneh Torah
Love and Awe: Philosophy and Religious Experience 197
The Concept of the Divine: Eternal Universe and Creation ex Nihilo 202
Prophecy, Faith, and the Election of Israel 208
Halakhah, Magic, and Idolatry 216
Messianism, halakhah, and Nature 223
Chapter Six: Mishneh Torah and the Conceptual Understanding of halakhah
Reorganizing the halakhah: Form and Content 229
"Laws Concerning Mourning" and the Organization of Mishneh Torah 236
Forging Concepts, Distinctions, and Generalizations 243
Mishneh Torah and Talmudic Sources 255
Three Functions of Aggadah in Mishneh Torah 262
Chapter Seven: The Guide of the Perplexed and Its Critique of Religious Language
Concealed and Revealed in the Guide of the Perplexed 277
Idolatry and Religious Language 288
"For You, Silence Is Praise" 296
The Skeptical Reading and the Mystical Reading 301
Chapter Eight: The Guide of the Perplexed: Will or Wisdom?
The Creation of the World: The Conservative Reading and the Philosophical Reading 313
The Doctrine of Prophecy 321
The Problem of Evil and the Purpose of Existence 329
Providence 335
The Reasons for the Commandments 341
The Commandments and the Philosopher's Spiritual Exercise 349
Conclusion
Four Readings 354
Three Common Elements 358
Maimonides' Teachings in Historical Perspective 362
Maimonides' Writings 369
Bibliography 371
Index 381

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File created: 4/17/2014

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