• George Y. Kohler
Part of the Amsterdam Studies in Jewish Philosophy book series (ASJT, volume 15)


The chapter presents the overall conclusions of the book as follows: The reception of Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed in nineteenth-century Germany was a dynamic process of ever-growing depth of argumentation and intensity in the penetration of Maimonidean thought – until this reception is turned at the beginning of the twentieth century into a selective, creative, and idealized re-interpretation of the Guide for contemporary purposes in a way that Maimonides himself would hardly have recognized. Most nineteenth-century German Jewish thinkers read Maimonides as a living source for creating a modern Judaism based on rational ethics, and not as a medieval philosopher, playing his particular role in the history of Jewish-Arabic Aristotelianism. For those thinkers, the almost unlimited belief in progress and the power of reason that was prevalent throughout the nineteenth century corresponded well with the Guide’s self-declared project of rationalizing Judaism – even if the results of Maimonides were necessarily different from nineteenth-century Jewish Kantian philosophy


Nineteenth Century Rational Ethic Ivory Tower Jewish Study Jewish Scholar 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Y. Kohler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department for Jewish ThoughtBen Gurion University of the NegevBeer ShevaIsrael

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