Judaism: The Religion of Reason: The Philosophy of Hermann Cohen and How It Shaped Modern Jewish Thought

Jonathan David Publishers (1968)
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Abstract

Hermann Cohen (1842-1918), the author of Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism, is the pivotal figure of late nineteenth and early twentieth-century Jewish philosophy and theology. The Jewish thinkers influenced by him include Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Mordecai Kaplan, Joseph Soloveitchik, and Emmanuel Levinas. A thoroughgoing rationalist, Cohen was an opponent of mythology and mysticism, which he viewed as cheapening and corrupting religion. Cohen summoned Jews back to the truths of reason, the centrality of ethics, the primacy of humanity in theology, and the moral law as the essence of religious life and thought. What is essential to Cohen is the notion that God can be discovered by the processes of reason itself. It is not necessary to "believe" in God. God can be known through the exercise of reason and the pursuit of the ethical life. In this important study, Rabbi Jehuda Melber presents a comprehensive reformulation, analysis, and interpretation of Cohen's philosophy of Judaism for the contemporary reader. Book jacket.

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