Searching for a Distant God: The Legacy of Maimonides
Monotheism is usually considered Judaism's greatest contribution to world culture, but it is far from clear what monotheism is. This work examines the notion that monotheism is not so much a claim about the number of God as a claim about the nature of God. Seeskin argues that the idea of a God who is separate from his creation and unique is not just an abstraction but a suitable basis for worship. He examines this conclusion in the contexts of prayer, creation, sabbath observance, repentance, religious freedom, and love of God. Maimonides plays a central role in the argument both because of his importance to Jewish self-understanding and because he deals with the question of how philosophic ideas are embodied in religious ritual.
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One The Urge to Philosophize
Two The Challenge of Monotheism
Three Speaking of and to God
Four The Problem of Creation
Five Imitatio Dei
Six Monotheism and Freedom
Seven Popular Religion and a Personal God
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accept According to Maimonides achieve Alfarabi apprehension Aquinas argues argument Aristotelian Aristotle attributes of action Bahya belief Buber causal cause claim Cohen commandments created order creation ex nihilo David Hartman demonstration Deuteronomy dialectical discussion divine doctrine esotericism essence eternal everything evil fact Genesis Gersonides God's Guide heart heavenly Hegel Helek holiness human perfection idea imitatio imitatio Dei implies infinite intellect interpretation Isadore Twersky issue Jewish Jewish Philosophy Judaism Kant Kant's Kellner knowledge language Leo Strauss Maimonides says matter means merciful metaphysics mind Mishneh Torah monides monotheism moral Moses nature negative theology Neoplatonic opinion passage Perek Helek person philosophers Pirkei Avot Plato Plotinus popular religion position possible prayer principles problem prophecy prophets question rabbinic rational reason regard religious repentance Schwarzschild sense Shekhinah soul Strauss talk theory things thinkers tion tradition true truth understand words worship