Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds - Joel L. Kraemer

“Moses Maimonides, the foremost Jewish scholar of all time and one of the greatest minds in the Western world, was born circa 1138.” In his biography, Maimonides (Doubleday, $35), Joel Kraemer, emeritus professor of Social Thought at the University of Chicago, recreates the times in which the physician-philosopher lived, as well as what can be found about his life. Kraemer depends heavily on Maimonides’s own extraordinary writings. While still in his thirties, Maimonides compiled his compendium of Jewish law, called the Mishneh Torah. He also wrote letters that are themselves considered basic texts in Judaism.  His masterpiece, the Guide to the Perplexed, was completed near the end of the twelfth century, when Maimonides was in his early fifties. I recommend this book to all those interested in Islamic life in the Middle Ages as well as to Jews interested in learning more about Judaism’s most important philosopher. 

Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization's Greatest Minds By Joel L. Kraemer Cover Image
$23.00
ISBN: 9780385512008
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Doubleday Religion - February 9th, 2010

Why Faith Matters - David J. Wolpe

An impassioned response to the claims of “new atheists” such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris, Why Faith Matters (Harper One, $24.95), by Los Angeles-based Rabbi David Wolpe, offers an unapologetic, yet nuanced, argument for the continuing relevance of religion in the modern world.  Inspired by the role of personal and communal faith in his own battle with lymphoma, Wolpe illuminates the enduring power of belief by taking us to the places where religion meets violence, scholarship, science, and even personal health.  Weaving personal, philosophical, and historical narratives, he creates a convincing argument for the continued influence of reflective, engaged, and compassionate faith.  This is a timely and beautifully written book that is sure to provoke thought among readers from both religious and secular backgrounds.

Why Faith Matters By David J. Wolpe Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780061633355
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperOne - September 1st, 2009

The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader's Companion with New Translations - James L. Kugel

Charged with compiling a selection of biblical poetry, James Kugel, a pre-eminent scholar of Hebrew at Harvard, delivers a well-rounded collection of 18 examples of poems from the Hebrew in his anthology, Great Poems Of The Bible (Simon & Shuster, $15).  Approaching challenges of translation and interpretation with deftness and honesty, Kugel has made this volume both accessible and learned. His commentaries bring the sacred text to life and are sure to provoke thought among fans of poetry and scripture alike.  Kugel looks at a number of selections from the Psalms as well as excerpts from the Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Ecclesiastes, and other books of the Bible.

The Great Poems of the Bible: A Reader's Companion with New Translations By James L. Kugel Cover Image
$21.99
ISBN: 9781416589020
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Free Press - October 21st, 2008

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