Foto: Matthias Friel
*To get acquired with sources and structure of Jewish prayer, through the synopsis of Maimonides
*To encounter the idiosyncrasies of Maimonides’ halachic writing, in the context of his philosophical system, especially the role of intellectual apprehension and mental states.
*To be introduced to the reception history of Maimonides’ writings, including later commentaries and controversies.
*To enjoy learning!
Materials: Our prime text will be the section on the laws of prayer in the second book (the ‘Book of Love’) of Mishneh Torah. If you want to acquire a copy of the book, you can use any modern Hebrew edition, or an English translation (i.e ”The Book Of Love”, Menachem Kellner ). There is no published German translation yet, except an online version on talmud.de.
Each week, a source-sheet will be provided with the texts in Hebrew, English and usually German.
See Bibliography for secondary literature. Four of the articles will be required reading and discussed in class. The others are highly recommended too.
Requirements: Attendance and active participation in class, oral presentation of an article or written essay at the end of the course.
(If you want to try out the class before registering on PULS, the Zoom link is tinyurl.com/lovingtorah .)
Ehud Z. Benor (1994) “Petition and contemplation in Maimonides’ conception of prayer”, Religion, 24:1, 59-66
Menachem Kellner, “Philosophical Themes in Maimonides’ Sefer Ahavah,” in Idit Dobbs-Weinstein, Lenn Evan Goodman, and James Grady, eds., Maimonides and His Heritage (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009), 13-35
Leo Strauss, How to Begin to Study "The Guide of the Perplexed". University of Chicago Press, 1963.
Abraham Joshua Heschel, Maimonides. New York: Fall River Press, 2012. (ch. 20-23)
Twersky, Isidore. Introduction to the Code of Maimonides (Mishneh Torah). New Haven: Yale University Press, 1980.
Benor, Ehud. Worship of the Heart: A Study in Maimonides' Philosophy of Religion. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1995.
Gillis, David. Reading Maimonides' Mishneh Torah. London: Liverpool University Press, 2015.
Menachem Kellner and David Gillis, Maimonides The Universalist: The Ethical Horizons of the Mishneh Torah (London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2020) - especially first chapter!
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