This chapter uses the figure of Maimonides as its case study, and his writings as a prism with which to re-imagine the creation of a canon of medieval Jewish philosophy in the nineteenth century. The quest to create a good, rational, and liberal medieval Jew has created an unstable terrain upon which stands the edifice of Jewish philosophy. This chapter seeks to deconstruct our inherited narrative of the history of medieval Jewish philosophy by retelling it from a different perspective. The medieval Jewish philosophers, while claiming rationalism as their gold standard, produced a totalitarian version of Judaism, one predicated on what they considered to be an authentic and pristine past.
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