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An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (International Library of Historical Studies) Paperback – March 31, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


""For some twelve centuries, Jewish religious thinkers, like their Christian and Muslim counterparts, have been wrestling with the challenge that rational enquiry presents to traditional beliefs and practices. Can the existence of God be proven? Was the world created by divine fiat? How may reflective individuals logically describe God’s attributes? Is prophetic power a natural or supernatural attribute? Does humankind truly have a choice over good and evil and does the suffering of the righteous call into question the notion of divine justice? Daniel Rynhold’s fine volume offers a readable, informative and reliable summary of the leading figures and the major ideas relating to such topics. The author explains--with a light touch and an occasional dash of humour--a variety of philosophical problems, as seen by modern and well as medieval thinkers with either religious or non-religious commitments. He clarifies the resolutions proposed for each problem by Saadia, Maimonides, Judah Halevi, Gersonides and Crescas, and reconstructs the discussions that might have taken place had they lived in the same periods and places. All credit to the author for producing a textbook that will be found clear and useful by lay readers, as well as students and scholars of religion, Jewish studies and medieval philosophy.""--Stefan C Reif, Emeritus Professor of Medieval Hebrew Studies, University of Cambridge
""Rynhold strings the pearls of logical, medieval, complex Jewish argument together in a beautiful, systematic, expertly classified manner. He shows introductory readers the eloquence and depth of some of the medieval modes of understanding complex ideas within their Jewish medieval historical context, and traces the reception history of the seminal works of medieval Jewish thought... This volume is a welcome addition to courses in medieval culture, the history of philosophy, and Jewish studies."" -D.B. Levy, Touro College, Lander College for Women
""The first thing to be said is that this is a very good book, and thoroughly to be recommended, both to the general reader and to the person studying religion and/or philosophy: advanced as well as introductory students will all find something of value...The great merit of the book is that it is a work of philosophy, not merely of the history of ideas"" -- A.H. Lesser, Journal of Semitic Studies

About 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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Product Details

  • Series: International Library of Historical Studies (Book 57)
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: I. B. Tauris (April 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845117484
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845117481
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,205,183 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By steve kaplan on September 30, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Short, but very thorough survey of the Jewish philosophers of the Middle Ages.
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An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (International Library of Historical Studies)
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