Jewish philosophical theology

In Thomas P. Flint & Michael C. Rea (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press (2008)

Authors
Daniel Frank
University of Leeds
Abstract
This article reviews the thoughts of some major Jewish philosophers. It presents a case study of Jewish philosophical theology, which demonstrates how Maimonides explicates the reasons for the revealed commandments. Prima facie, some of the commandments appear to be quite arbitrary and irrational, and it is shown how Maimonides deals with this. Further, this ‘theoretical’ discussion in legal philosophy about the reasons for the commandments has manifestly practical implications, specifically aretaic implications about the inculcation and establishment of certain dispositions. Jewish philosophical theology muddies the grand dichotomy of theory and practice. Study is commanded for the sake of moral and social reform. And the law itself becomes most effective in a human life when obedience follows on consideration of its grounds.
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Reprint years 2009
DOI 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199596539.013.0025
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