Therefore i Have Removed the Veil: Disclosure of Secrets in Eleventh-Century Islam and the Literary Character of Maimonides's Guide

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Abstract

This article investigates Maimonides's ethos of disclosing secrets and explores its Islamic origins, focusing on sources neglected by earlier scholarship concerning the Guide of the Perplexed. I turn from the prevalent method by which the Guide has been studied for decades, namely, as a work at the core of which lie strategies and an ethos of concealment. In lieu of the conventional method, I go in a very different direction by inquiring into the modes that Maimonides used in fashioning his Guide as a work that involves a self-proclaimed exceptional act of revelation of secrets and a breach of the boundaries of concealment. The resulting textual investigation demonstrates that clusters of motifs presented in these sources, as well as structures of arguments, were retained in their cultural migration. This exploration allows me to illuminate new aspects of the question of the genre of Maimonides' Guide, its sources, and its author's intertextual art of writing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-404
Number of pages27
JournalHarvard Theological Review
Volume113
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ibn Sīnā
  • Leo Strauss
  • Maimonides
  • al-Fārābī
  • al-Ghazālī
  • crisis discourse
  • esotericism
  • transgression

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