Leo Strauss on Maimonides: The Complete Writings

University of Chicago Press
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Leo Strauss is widely recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Maimonides. His studies of the medieval Jewish philosopher led to his rediscovery of esotericism and deepened his sense that the tension between reason and revelation was central to modern political thought. His writings throughout the twentieth century were chiefly responsible for restoring Maimonides as a philosophical thinker of the first rank. Yet, to appreciate the extent of Strauss’s contribution to the scholarship on Maimonides, one has traditionally had to seek out essays he published separately spanning almost fifty years.
With Leo Strauss on Maimonides, Kenneth Hart Green presents for the first time a comprehensive, annotated collection of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides, comprising sixteen essays, three of which appear in English for the first time. Green has also provided careful translations of materials that had originally been quoted in Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, German, and French; written an informative introduction highlighting the original contributions found in each essay; and brought references to out-of-print editions fully up to date. The result will become the standard edition of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides.
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About the author

Leo Strauss (1899–1973) was one of the preeminent political philosophers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, among them The Political Philosophy of Hobbes, Natural Right and History, and Spinoza’s Critique of Religion, all published by the University of Chicago Press. Kenneth Hart Green is associate professor in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Jew and Philosopher: The Return to Maimonides in the Jewish Thought of Leo Strauss.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 23, 2013
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Pages
768
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ISBN
9780226776798
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / History & Theory
Religion / Judaism / General
Religion / Judaism / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Leo Strauss
Although Leo Strauss published little on Nietzsche, his lectures and correspondence demonstrate a deep critical engagement with Nietzsche’s thought. One of the richest contributions is a seminar on Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra, taught in 1959 during Strauss’s tenure at the University of Chicago. In the lectures, Strauss draws important parallels between Nietzsche’s most important project and his own ongoing efforts to restore classical political philosophy.

With Leo Strauss on Nietzsche’s “Thus Spoke Zarathustra,” eminent Strauss scholar Richard L. Velkley presents Strauss’s lectures on Zarathustra with superb annotations that bring context and clarity to the critical role played by Nietzsche in shaping Strauss’s thought. In addition to the broad relationship between Nietzsche and political philosophy, Strauss adeptly guides readers through Heidegger’s confrontations with Nietzsche, laying out Heidegger’s critique of Nietzsche’s “will to power” while also showing how Heidegger can be read as a foil for his own reading of Nietzsche. The lectures also shed light on the relationship between Heidegger and Strauss, as both philosophers saw Nietzsche as a central figure for understanding the crisis of philosophy and Western civilization.
Strauss’s reading of Nietzsche is one of the important—yet little appreciated—philosophical inquiries of the past century, both an original interpretation of Nietzsche’s thought and a deep engagement with the core problems that modernity posed for political philosophy. It will be welcomed by anyone interested in the work of either philosopher.
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