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Eastern Indonesian Women on the Move
Maiden Voyages is a fascinating, unusual study of the centrality, impact and place of sea travel on the lives of women in Eastern Indonesia. It shows how women there travel constantly by sea, to move between islands, to urban centres and even overseas. In doing so, they negotiate and cross and re-make their social boundaries. In contrast to the dominant economic approach to migration, this book uses Eastern Indonesian women’s own travel accounts to show how sea voyages recreate their identities. The book is based on research of contemporary rural and semi-rural women in the East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia.This book is an original and valuable contribution to the debates on gender, subjectivity, and the local specificity. It aims to contribute to an understanding of women’s mobility and spatial relations in Eastern Indonesia. It will be of interest to scholars of geography, migration, gender and microeconomics as well as of appeal to general readers.
Epistolary Narrative and Desire in Ovid's Heroides
In the Heroides, the Roman poet Ovid wittily plucks fifteen abandoned heroines from ancient myth and literature and creates the fiction that each woman writes a letter to the hero who left her behind. But in giving voice to these heroines, is Ovid writing like a woman, or writing "Woman" like a man?
Using feminist and psychoanalytic approaches to examine the "female voice" in the Heroides, Sara H. Lindheim closely reads these fictive letters in which the women seemingly tell their own stories. She points out that in Ovid’s verse epistles all the women represent themselves in a strikingly similar and disjointed fashion. Lindheim turns to Lacanian theory of desire to explain these curious and hauntingly repetitive representations of the heroines in the "female voice." Lindheim’s approach illuminates what these poems reveal about both masculine and feminine constructions of the feminine
Torah and Philosophic Quest (Expanded Edition)
In his 1976 Maimonides: Torah and Philosophical Quest, David Hartman departs from traditional scholarly views about Maimonides by offering a new way of understanding the great man and his work. This expanded edition contains Hartman’s new postscript. A 12th-century rabbi, scholar, physician, and philosopher, Moses Maimonides is best known for his two great works on Judaism: Mishneh Torah and Guide to the Perplexed. They have often been viewed by scholars as having different audiences and different messages, together reflecting the two sides of the author himself: Maimonides the halakhist, who focused on piety through obedience to Jewish law; and Maimonides the philosopher, who advocated closeness with God through reflection and knowledge of nature. Hartman argues that while many scholars look at one aspect of Maimonides to the exclusion or dismissal of the other, the way to really understand him is to see both adherence to the law and philosophical pursuits as two essential aspects of Judaism. Hartman’s 2009 postscript sheds new light on his argument and indeed on Judaism as Maimonides interpreted it. In it Hartman explains that while Maimonides never envisioned the integration of halakhah with philosophy, he did view them as existing in a symbiotic relationship. While the focus of the Mishneh Torah was halakha and obedience to Jewish law, Guide to the Perplexed spoke to individuals whose love of God grew through their passion, devotion and yearning to understand God’s wisdom and power in nature. Both modes of spiritual orientation lived in the thought of Maimonides.
Examines the Jewish philospher's influence on theology, philosophy, medicine, and law, and his impact on later thinkers. This volume celebrates the depth and breadth of Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides’ (1138–1204) achievements. The essays gathered here explore the rich diversity of a heritage that extends over eight hundred years, beginning with Maimonides’ historical context; ranging through his distinct contributions to philosophy, theology, medicine, and Jewish law; to the impact his ideas have had on later generations. His humane perspective and commitment to intellectual rigor are reflected in the wide range of his works and his active role as a spiritual guide and intellectual leader. Maimonides’ intellectual openness makes his work an enduring model of creative synthesis and critical appropriation, as well as a continuing source of intellectual stimulation not only for the many specialist scholars who scrutinize his texts but also for a wide and lively audience of nonspecialists.
Deciphering Scripture and Midrash in The Guide of the Perplexed
Examines how Maimonides integrates scriptural and rabbinic literature into his magnum opus, The Guide of the Perplexed. Maimonides and the Hermeneutics of Concealment demonstrates the type of hermeneutic that the medieval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1138–1204) engaged in throughout his treatise, The Guide of the Perplexed. By comprehensively analyzing Maimonides’ use of rabbinic and scriptural sources, James Arthur Diamond argues that, far from being merely prooftexts, they are in fact essential components of Maimonides’ esoteric stratagem. Diamond’s close reading of biblical and rabbinic citations in the Guide not only penetrates its multilayered structure to arrive at its core meaning, but also distinguishes Maimonides as a singular contributor to the Jewish exegetical tradition.
Medieval Precursor of Psychoanalysis
Explores the unacknowledged psychological element in Maimonides’ work, one which prefigures the latter insights of Freud. Is Moses Maimonides an unacknowledged ancestor of the psychoanalytic movement? In this book, David Bakan, Dan Merkur, and David S. Weiss look at the great medieval Jewish philosopher’s prescription for the cure of souls and its psychological significance. In the Guide of the Perplexed, Maimonides, who was also a physician, describes the soul’s illness: when sinners rationalize evil as good, they limit their capacities to reason, imagine, and behave well, which also produces physical symptoms. The cure depends on repentance in love and fear of God that is attained through philosophical knowledge, the interpretation of dreams and visions, and mystical contemplation. The authors look at the Aristotelian background of Maimonides’ psychology, Maimonidean mysticism, his beliefs about prophecy and sexuality, and what is known of Maimonides’ client population. A final chapter discusses Maimonides and Freud, noting that many distinctive features of the cure of souls are shared by Freud’s original formulation of psychoanalysis. Indeed, the many points of convergence suggest Freud’s direct or indirect contact with Maimonides’ legacy.
Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People explores Maimonides’ philosophical psychology, his ethics, his views on prophecy, providence, and immortality, his understanding of the place of gentiles in the Messianic area, his attitude toward proselytes, his answer to the question, “Who is a Jew?”, his conception of the nature of Torah, and his arguments concerning the nature of the Chosen People. With respect to each of these issues, Kellner shows that Maimonides adopted positions that reflected his emphasis on nurture over nature and his insistence that it is intellectual perfection and not ethnic affiliation which is crucial.
Shows to what extent and in what fashion Jews are bound to accept the opinions and the pronouncements of religious authorities. Moses Maimonides, medieval Judaism’s leading legist and philosopher, and a figure of central importance for contemporary Jewish self-understanding, held a view of Judaism which maintained the authority of the Talmudic rabbis in matters of Jewish law while allowing for free and open inquiry in matters of science and philosophy. Maimonides affirmed, not the superiority of the “moderns” (the scholars of his and subsequent generations) over the “ancients” (the Tannaim and Amoraim, the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud) but the inherent equality of the two. The equality presented here is not equality of halakhic authority, but equality of ability, of essential human characteristics. In order to substantiate these claims, Kellner explores the related idea that Maimonides does not adopt the notion of “the decline of the generations,” according to which each succeeding generation, or each succeeding epoch, is in some significant and religiously relevant sense inferior to preceding generations or epochs.
Studies in Ethics, Law, and the Human Ideal
Examines Maimonides' political thought in light of his medieval Aristotelian and Jewish sources. This book presents a series of studies that cover a wide range of issues relating to Maimonides’ political thought, including the basis for political and ethical knowledge; the notion of the “good”; imitatio Dei; apparent contradictions in his position on ethics; the conception of God that he attempts to inculcate to Jewish society at large; and his novel approach to the love and fear of God. Taking into account his medieval Aristotelian and Jewish sources, these explorations also deal with some of the opposing considerations that Maimonides had to balance in developing and presenting his positions on such subjects as the nature of divine law, the static vs. dynamic dimensions of Mosaic law, prophetic and rabbinic authority within Judaism, the reasons for the commandments, and martyrdom. A close reading of the manner in which he formulates his views, in light of their literary and intellectual-historical contexts, allows us a better glimpse of how profound and subtle Maimonides is as a thinker and an educator.