aim (Howard) Kreisel

Maimonides' Political Thought

New York: State University of New York Press, 1999

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 the 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 formulated 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.

360 pages, including abstract, bibliography and general index


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