Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy

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Overview

Human civilization will be forever indebted to the great thinkers of Jewish philosophy's golden age. Moses Maimonedes, Levi Gersonides, Judah Halevi, Saadia Gaon, Hasdai Crescas and their like grappled with some of the most challenging metaphysical issues, while the profundity of their solutions continue to engage philosophers today. Did God create the world? Can human freedom be reconciled with divine foreknowledge? What is the nature of the good life? Focusing on the central philosophical questions of the ...

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Overview

Human civilization will be forever indebted to the great thinkers of Jewish philosophy's golden age. Moses Maimonedes, Levi Gersonides, Judah Halevi, Saadia Gaon, Hasdai Crescas and their like grappled with some of the most challenging metaphysical issues, while the profundity of their solutions continue to engage philosophers today. Did God create the world? Can human freedom be reconciled with divine foreknowledge? What is the nature of the good life? Focusing on the central philosophical questions of the Middle Ages, Daniel Rynhold offers a concise introduction to topics such as God and creation, human freewill, biblical prophecy, the Commandments, the divine attributes and immortality. Structured around themes that form the common "syllabus" of medieval Jewish philosophy, each chapter builds a debate around a particular topic and in so doing utilizes the arguments of the chief philosophical figures of the medieval era. Explaining all concepts in a clear, non-technical fashion, the book also provides suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter. The first dedicated textbook to introduce the great richness of medieval Jewish philosophy as a whole, this lively and comprehensive survey is the ideal introduction for undergraduate students of the subject as well as the interested general reader.

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Meet the Author

Daniel Rynhold is Assistant Professor of Modern Jewish Philosophy at Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies at Yeshiva University in New York. He serves on the editorial boards of Le'ela and the Journal of the London School of Jewish Studies, and is the author a previous book entitled Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One's Practices (2005).

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Table of Contents

* Preface
• Abbreviations and Translations
• Introduction
• The Existence of God
• God and Creation
• Divine Attributes
• Prophecy
• Rationalising the Commandments
• Freewill and Omniscience
• The Good Life
• The Bad Life
• Conclusion
• Appendix: Maimonidean Esotericism
• Glossary *

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