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Dogma in Medieval Jewish ThoughtFrom Maimonides to Abravanel$
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Menachem Kellner

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113218

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113218.001.0001

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(p.10) 1 Maimonides
Dogma in Medieval Jewish Thought

Menachem Kellner

Liverpool University Press

This chapter shows that, in order to counteract perverted habits of thought and in order to perfect halakhic observance among the Jewish people of his age, Moses Maimonides, consciously adapting Muslim religious categories to Jewish uses, laid down thirteen principles of faith which he wanted his readers to understand as dogmas in the strict sense of the term. Maimonides was consistent in his approach to these principles and, despite apparent deviations in the second text in which they occur, he was actually very faithful to his original formulation. The only exception to this is his addition of belief in creation to the fourth principle. Maimonides arranged the thirteen principles in such a way that they fall into three groups. Both the groupings and the principles themselves were arranged in a logical order. These groupings are reflected in the structure of the Guide of the Perplexed.

Keywords:   Moses Maimonides, thirteen principles, dogmas, Guide of the Perplexed, Torah

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