Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism

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9781580234115: Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism

A challenging look at two great Jewish philosophers, and what their thinking means to our understanding of God, truth, revelation and reason.

Moses Maimonides (1138–1204) is Jewish history's greatest exponent of a rational, philosophically sound Judaism. He strove to reconcile the teachings of the Bible and rabbinic tradition with the principles of Aristotelian philosophy, arguing that religion and philosophy ultimately must arrive at the same truth.

Baruch Spinoza (1632–77) is Jewish history’s most illustrious "heretic." He believed that truth could be attained through reason alone, and that philosophy and religion were separate domains that could not be reconciled. His critique of the Bible and its teachings caused an intellectual and spiritual upheaval whose effects are still felt today.

Rabbi Marc D. Angel discusses major themes in the writings of Maimonides and Spinoza to show us how modern people can deal with religion in an intellectually honest and meaningful way. From Maimonides, we gain insight on how to harmonize traditional religious belief with the dictates of reason. From Spinoza, we gain insight into the intellectual challenges which must be met by modern believers.

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From the Inside Flap:

Discover how Jewish theology became what it is today--and how it can affect the Jewish future.
The views of Moses Maimonides and Baruch Spinoza, both foundation stones of Jewish theology and philosophy, may differ more than they coincide. But by revisiting their philosophical arguments, in vigorous debate with each other, we can come to a deeper appreciation of the role of reason--and of revelation--in Judaism.
Theologian Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, explores how these two great thinkers came to formulate what we know as Jewish theology and philosophy today, incorporating the influences of Torah, rabbinic sages, Greek philosophy, and pre-modern and modern science. He breaks down their philosophical arguments with relevant historical detail, making them more accessible to a wide audience. His analysis touches on many provocative but vital questions of enduring importance, including:
* Can the revealed truth of religion and the empirical truth of science be reconciled?
* What is the nature of God? Can it be described?
* Is Torah really the perfect, errorless word of God?
* Does God play an active role in human affairs?
* What is the ultimate source of Truth?
* How important is it to observe ritual?
* Can Judaism be fully embraced by non-Jews?

Also by Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire Explores the teachings, values, attitudes and cultural patterns of Judeo-Spanish culture. 6 x 9, 224 pp, Quality PB, 978-1-58023-341-5 $18.99

About the Author:

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, is founder and director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (www.jewishideas.org). Rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel of New York City, he is author and editor of twenty-nine books, including Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism; Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire (both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award); and Maimonides―Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith and Ethics: The Book of Knowledge and the Thirteen Principles of Faith―Annotated and Explained (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Confronting Basic Issues of Faith
  • The Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Jewish Communities: Can We Learn from Each Other?
  • Conversion to Judaism: What the Jewish Community Can Learn from Converts
  • Choosing to Be Jewish: The Orthodox Road to Conversion
  • Losing the Rat Race, Winning at Life: Ethics for Moderns

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Book Description Jewish Lights Publishing, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A challenging look at two great Jewish philosophers, and what their thinking means to our understanding of God, truth, revelation and reason. Moses Maimonides (1138-1204) is Jewish history s greatest exponent of a rational, philosophically sound Judaism. He strove to reconcile the teachings of the Bible and rabbinic tradition with the principles of Aristotelian philosophy, arguing that religion and philosophy ultimately must arrive at the same truth. Baruch Spinoza (1632-77) is Jewish history s most illustrious heretic. He believed that truth could be attained through reason alone, and that philosophy and religion were separate domains that could not be reconciled. His critique of the Bible and its teachings caused an intellectual and spiritual upheaval whose effects are still felt today. Rabbi Marc D. Angel discusses major themes in the writings of Maimonides and Spinoza to show us how modern people can deal with religion in an intellectually honest and meaningful way. From Maimonides, we gain insight on how to harmonize traditional religious belief with the dictates of reason. From Spinoza, we gain insight into the intellectual challenges which must be met by modern believers. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781580234115

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