In this Book

Converts, Heretics, and Lepers
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summary
James Diamond's new book consists of a series of studies addressing Moses Maimonides' (1138–1204) appropriation of marginal figures—lepers, converts, heretics, and others—normally considered on the fringes of society and religion. Each chapter focuses on a type or character that, in Maimonides' hands, becomes a metaphor for a larger, more substantive theological and philosophical issue. Diamond offers a close reading of key texts, such as the Guide of the Perplexed and the Mishneh Torah, demonstrating the importance of integrating Maimonides' legal and philosophical writings. Converts, Heretics, and Lepers fills an important void in Jewish studies by focusing on matters of exegesis and hermeneutics as well as philosophical concerns. Diamond's alternative reading of central topics in Maimonides suggests that literary appreciation is a key to deciphering Maimonides’ writings in particular and Jewish exegetical texts in general.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xi
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  1. Abbreviations and Citations
  2. p. xiii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. Chapter 1: The Convert (Ger): Metaphor of Jewishness
  2. pp. 11-31
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  1. Chapter 2: The Leper: Illness as Contemplative Metaphor
  2. pp. 33-53
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  1. Chapter 3: Elisha ben Abuyah and the Hubris of the Heretic
  2. pp. 55-78
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  1. Chapter 4: The King: The Ethics of Imperial Humility
  2. pp. 79-105
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  1. Chapter 5: The Sage/Philosopher: A Solitude of Universalism
  2. pp. 107-139
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  1. Chapter 6: God, the Supreme Outsider: Indwelling (Shekhinah) as Metaphor for Outdwelling
  2. pp. 141-157
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  1. Chapter 7: Deconstructing God's Indwelling: The Challenge to Halevi
  2. pp. 159-189
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  1. Chapter 8: Sabbath: The Temporal Outsider
  2. pp. 191-226
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 227-299
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 301-316
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  1. Citations Index
  2. pp. 317-330
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  1. Names Index
  2. pp. 331-335
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  1. Subject Index
  2. pp. 337-343
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