Maimonides on the "Decline of the Generations" and the Nature of Rabbinic Authority by Menachem KellnerMaimonides on the "Decline of the Generations" and the Nature of Rabbinic Authority by Menachem Kellner

Maimonides on the "Decline of the Generations" and the Nature of Rabbinic Authority

byMenachem Kellner

Paperback | March 28, 1996

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Moses Maimonides, medieval Judaism's leading legist and philosopher, and a figure of central importance for contemporary Jewish self-understanding, held a view of Judaism which maintained the authority of the Talmudic rabbis in matters of Jewish law while allowing for free and open inquiry in matters of science and philosophy. Maimonides affirmed, not the superiority of the "moderns" (the scholars of his and subsequent generations) over the "ancients" (the Tannaim and Amoraim, the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud) but the inherent equality of the two. The equality presented here is not equality of halakhic authority, but equality of ability, of essential human characteristics.

Menachem Kellner teaches medieval Jewish Philosophy in the Department of Jewish History and Thought and is Wolfson Professor of Jewish Thought and is Dean of Students at the University of Haifa. He is the author of Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought; Torat he-Ikkarim ba-Philosophiah ha-Yehudit Bimei ha-Benayim; Maimonides on Human Perfec...
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Title:Maimonides on the "Decline of the Generations" and the Nature of Rabbinic AuthorityFormat:PaperbackDimensions:137 pages, 8.96 × 5.95 × 0.36 inPublished:March 28, 1996Publisher:State University of New York Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0791429229

ISBN - 13:9780791429228

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

1. The Decline of the Generations

2. Maimonides on Nature and Miracles

3. Maimonides on Decline

4. Maimonides' Attitude towards the Authority of the Rabbis in non-Halakhic Matters

5. Maimonides on the "Advance" of the Generations

6. On the Nature of the Rabbis' Authority

7. Concluding (Quasi-) Scientific Postscript

Notes

References

Citations from Maimonides' Works

General Index

From Our Editors

Moses Maimonides, medieval Judaism's leading legist and philosopher, and a figure of central importance for contemporary Jewish self-understanding, held a view of Judaism which maintained the authority of the Talmudic rabbis in matters of Jewish law while allowing for free and open inquiry in matters of science and philosophy. Maimonides affirmed, not the superiority of the "moderns" (the scholars of his and subsequent generations) over the "ancients" (the Tannaim and Amoraim, the Rabbis of the Mishnah and Talmud) but the inherent equality of the two. The equality presented here is not equality of halakhic authority, but equality of ability, of essential human characteristics. In order to substantiate these claims, Kellner explores the related idea that Maimonides does not adopt the notion of "the decline of the generations", according to which each succeeding generation, or each succeeding epoch, is in some significant and religiously relevant sense inferior to preceding generations or epochs.

Editorial Reviews

In order to substantiate these claims, Kellner explores the related idea that Maimonides does not adopt the notion of "the decline of the generations," according to which each succeeding generation, or each succeeding epoch, is in some significant and religiously relevant sense inferior to preceding generations or epochs.