Foucault & Maimonides (Coronavirus)

Maimonides HospitalfoucaultMaimonides Hospital

The Coronovirus pandemic keeps bringing me back as a go-to to Foucault (always under the influence of colleague and friend Gail Hamner) and to Maimonides (at the suggestion of colleague and friend Bill Plevan who recommended reading Hilkhot Deot). Foucault has been an obvious choice to read, writing about plagues, panopticism and other technologies of modern social control, and hospitals. And Maimonides too, the courtier-physician-philosopher. Representing two sides of the same coin, what pulls their thought together is the art of cool thought and flat affect, the social body, care for the self, and a poetic flair. More on the balm of rational religion after Shabbat. [As for the visual pun: the picture of Foucault is Foucault framed by a photo of the Coronavirus testing tent at Maimonides Medical Center in Boro Park, Brooklyn.]

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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