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Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest (Extended Version)

By David Hartman / Jewish Publication Society / 2009


Print: $22.00


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. David 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. This expanded edition contains a new postscript by Hartman that sheds new light on his argument and indeed on Judaism as Maimonides interpreted it.

Key Features

  • Key insight to one of the most influential Jewish philosophers
  • Analyzes halakhah (collective body of Jewish Law) and aggadah (homiletic and non-legalistic exegetical texts) and their importance
  • Focuses on Maimonides' entire philosophy, not just one aspect


  • Multiple Responses to the Conflict of Philosophy and Halakhah
  • Philosophy in Maimonides' Legal Works
  • Halakhic and Aggadic Categories and Their Relationship to Philosophic Spirituality
  • Reason and Traditional Authority within Halakhah and Philosophy
  • The Philosophic Religious Sensibility
  • Morality and the Passionate Love for God

Product Details

  • Title: Maimonides: Torah and Philosophic Quest (Extended Version)
  • Author: David Hartman
  • Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
  • Publication Date: 2009, 1976c
  • Pages: 320

About David Hartman

David Hartman is founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a center for the study of classical Jewish sources and of contemporary Israeli and Jewish issues. He is the author of A Living Covenant: The Innovative Spirit in Traditional Judaism and Israelis and the Jewish Tradition: An Ancient People Debating Its Future. Dr. Hartman received his rabbinical ordination from Yeshiva University and his Ph.D. in philosophy from McGill University.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition