Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-viii

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xvi

The present book is dedicated to one major medieval thinker, Moses Maimonides (d. 1204), and to the examination of his thought in its historical and cultural context. The description of Maimonides as a...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xvii-xviii

The decision to write the present book was made in 2006, when I was enjoying a sabbatical year as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Judaic Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The CAJS provided ideal working conditions, a supportive staff, and a wonderful group of...

Abbreviations

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pp. xix-xxii

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CHAPTER ONE: Maimonides and Mediterranean Culture

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pp. 24-46

From the many honorifi c titles appended to Maimonides’ name, “The Great Ea gle” has come to be identifi ed as his particular, personal title. This biblical sobriquet (from Ezekiel 17: 3) was meant, no doubt, to underline his regal position in the Jewish community. At the same...

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CHAPTER TWO: The Theological Context of Maimonides’ Thought

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pp. 47-75

Scrupulous footnoting, which we nowadays regard as essential to scientifi c publications, was not part of the ethos of medieval authors.1 Medieval writers often quote without indicating their source, and they regularly present their thought without mentioning previous authors...

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CHAPTER THREE: An Almohad “Fundamentalist”?

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pp. 76-106

As a young adult, between the years 1148 and 1165, Maimonides lived under Almohad rule. The im mense impact of these formative years on his thought has been almost totally overlooked by modern scholarship. 1 This chapter will...

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CHAPTER FOUR: La Longue Durée: Maimonides as a Phenomenologist of Religion

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pp. 107-147

Through his studies of what he considered to be ancient pagan texts Maimonides believed to have cracked the code of biblical commandments. He identified these ancient texts with the culture of the...

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CHAPTER FIVE: A Critical Mind: Maimonides as Scientist

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pp. 148-175

In modern consciousness Maimonides the physician is probably as famous as Maimonides the philosopher. A search on the web, in either Hebrew or English, is likely to bring up first of all half a.....

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CHAPTER SIX: “From Moses to Moses”: Maimonides’ Vision of Perfection

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pp. 176-211

Notwithstanding Maimonides’ complete immersion in the cultural world of his time, the Jewish tradition and the Jewish community were at the heart of his thought and activity. As the community’s leader, he aspired to reach the point at which the Jewish people would...

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CONCLUSION

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pp. 212-215

The preceding pages were dedicated to one major medieval thinker, Moses Maimonides, and to the examination of his thought in its context. The outcome of this examination bears first of all upon our understanding of Maimonides himself. The description presented...

Bibliography

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pp. 216-241

Index

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pp. 242-245