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First ever study of reception history in modern times of Maimonides' famous "Guide of the Perplexed"
Original daring claims and theories concerning the relation between religious reforms in Judaism and civic emancipation in Western Europe
Presents and discusses material written on Maimonides in nineteenth century Germany Serves as an intellectual history of the Reform and Conservative Movement in Judaism
The general subject of the book is the re-discovery of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed by the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement in Germany of the nineteenth and beginning twentieth Germany. Since this movement is inseparably connected with religious reforms that took place at about the same time, it shall be demonstrated how the Reform Movement in Judaism used the Guide for its own agenda of historizing, rationalizing and finally turning Judaism into a philosophical enterprise of ‘ethical monotheism’. The study follows the reception of Maimonidean thought, and the Guide specifically, through the nineteenth century, from the first beginnings of early reformers in 1810 and their reading of Maimonides to the development of a sophisticated reform-theology, based on Maimonides, in the writings of Hermann Cohen more then a hundred years later.
Part I: Maimonides – the Guide for the Reform Movement in Germany.- 2. The First Reform rabbis Abraham Geiger Heinrich Graetz Moritz Eisler and Leopold Stein.- 3. The Rabbinical Seminaries Manuel Joel David Kaufmann Anti-Aristotelianism Philipp Bloch, Wolf Mischel and Israel Finkelscherer The Baden Prayerbook Religious Schoolbook and the Jewish Catechism The Moses ben Maimon Volumes Felix Perles, Wilhelm Bacher and Adolf Biach .- 4. The Return to Philosophy David Neumark Hermann Cohen Benzion Kellermann.- Part II: Specific Problems in the Reception of Maimonides’ Philosophy in Nineteenth-and Early Twentieth-Century Germany.- 5. Divine Attributes - The Ethical Concept of God Manuel Joel Abraham Geiger and Moritz Eisler David Kaufmann Hermann Cohen’s Ethics of Maimonides Benzion Kellermann Hermann Cohen’s Religion of Reason.- 6. The Law The Reform Approach to the Law Simon Scheyer’s Translation of the Guide Maimonides’ Reasons for the Commandments.- 7. Maimonides and Kant Salomon Maimon .- 8 “Rambam or Maimonides”- Orthodox Reactions to the Liberal Maimonides Renaissance (1836-1936) Samson Raphael Hirsch Israel Deutsch and J. Bukofzer Josef Gugenheimer The Berlin Orthodox Seminary and Ignatz Münz David Hoffmann Simon Eppenstein Joseph Wohlgemuth Israel Friedländer Arnold Klein Appendix: The Debate Between Julius Guttmann and Leo Strauss Conclusions Primary German Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Sources on Maimonides’ Guide Bibliography Modern Secondary Literature Selected Hebrew Literature.