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


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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

About the Author

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 Perfection; and Maimonides on Judaism and the Jewish People, also published by SUNY Press. He is translator of Isaac Abravanel's Principles of Faith and Levi ben Gershom's Commentary on Song of Songs; and editor of Contemporary Jewish Ethics; Rosh Amanah; and The Pursuit of the Ideal: Jewish Writings of Steven Schwarzschild, also published by SUNY Press.


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.

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