Faith, Reason and Dogma in Jewish Philosophy

Spring Semester
Course Number:702.2190
Avi Kadish
3 Credits

Which is to be preferred: Science or tradition? What is more important: Truth or morality? Can God be proven? Can ideas ever be commanded?  How did philosophy and humanity change between the Middle Ages and that of the modern world? Can the Jewish tradition be read in a rationalistic way? The axis of Jewish philosophy is in the tension between universal human reason and unique experience of individuals, and we will deal with that tension from many different angles throughout this course.

In this course we will study the ethics and dogmatics of Moses Maimonides (1135-1204). We will contrast his rationalistic approach towards understanding the Torah and Jewish tradition to that of his critics in the centuries between his own lifetime and the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

Discipline: REL, LIT, PHIL

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     Meet Our Students

Peter Kellner

Peter Kellner 22, Boston University Vermont, USA

Why Haifa?

I decided to come and study at the University of Haifa because it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to immerse myself in a completely new culture as well as to see the State of Israel, something of importance to me because of my Judaism. 

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      What do you like most about Haifa?

What I like most about Haifa are the beautiful views from the top of the carmel, you get to see the sea, and the entire city below.  Its especially beautiful at night atop the main building. I also really like being surrounded by different cultures, and being able to interact with Arabs and Druze.