This new volume gives discursive shape to several key facets of the relationship among politics, theology and religious thought. Powerfully relevant to a wealth of further academic disciplines including history, law and the humanities, it sharpens the contours of our understanding in a live and evolving field. It charts the mechanisms by which, contrary to the avowed secularism of many of today's polities, theology and religion have often, and sometimes profoundly, shaped political discourse. By augmenting this broader analysis with a (...) selection of authoritative papers focusing on the prominent sub-field of political theology, the anthology offsets a startling academic lacuna. Alongside focused analysis of subjects such as conscience, secularism and religious tolerance, the discussion of political theology examines the tradition's critical moments, including developments during the post-World War I Weimar republic in Germany and the epistemological imprint the theory has left behind in works by political thinkers influenced by the three major monotheistic traditions. (shrink)
_Presents the early published writings of the distinguished political philosopher Leo Strauss, available here for the first time in English. “Zank places at the reader’s disposal the young Strauss’s passionate advocacy of political Zionism and his early confrontations with Spinoza, consideration of whom helped lead Strauss to formulate his teaching on ‘the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns.’” — National Review_.
In this book philosophers, scholars of religion, and activists address the theme of responsibility. Barbara Darling-Smith brings together an enlightening collection of essays that analyze the ethics of responsibility, its relational nature, and its global struggle.
In this tribute to Steven T. Katz on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson present sixteen original essays written by senior and junior scholars in comparative religion, philosophy of religion, modern Judaism, and theology after the Holocaust, fields of inquiry where Steven Katz made major contributions over the course of his distinguished scholarly career. The authors of this volume, specialists in Jewish history, especially the modern experience, and Jewish thought from the Bible to Buber, offer (...) theoretical and practical observations on the value of the particular. Contributions range from Tim Knepper's reevaluation of the ineffability discourse to the particulars of the Settlement Cookbook, examined by Nora Rubel as an American classic. (shrink)
English summary: In twenty lectures and essays, many of which are published here for the first time, Michael Zank looks at modern Jewish philosophy of religion as an apologetics of the Mosaic faith. He approaches the subject from thematic as well as historical angles and shows how Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Leo Strauss and others wrestled with the Christian and philosophical legacies of Europe. He also offers reflections on what we can learn from these philosophical efforts for today, (...) aiming to introduce the reader to the field of modern Jewish philosophy. The author first developed the idea for this book when he taught in Frankfurt as Martin Buber Professor of Jewish Philosophy of Religion at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. German description: In zwanzig, hier zum grossen Teil erstmals veroffentlichten, Aufsatzen und Vortragen stellt Michael Zank die moderne judische Religionsphilosophie unter das Motto einer Apologie des Mosaismus. Er geht dabei sowohl thematisch als auch historisch vor und zeigt, wie sich Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Leo Strauss und andere mit dem christlichen und philosophischen Erbe Europas auseinandergesetzt haben. Er denkt ausserdem daruber nach, was wir aus jenen Auseinandersetzungen heute noch lernen konnen. Das Buch versteht sich als eine Einfuhrung in die judische Religionsphilosophie. Die Idee fur dieses Buch entstand, als der Autor als Martin Buber Professor fur judische Religionsphilosophie an der Goethe Universitat Frankfurt lehrte. (shrink)
Abstract Both Immanuel Kant and Moses Maimonides wrote lengthy treatments of the biblical garden of Eden. For both philosophers the biblical story served as an opportunity to address the genealogy of morals. I argue here that the two treatments offer deep insights into their respective philosophical anthropologies, that is to say, into their assessments of the human person and of moral psychology. Contrary to much that has been written about Maimonides as a proto-Kantian, I expose the profoundly different and even (...) opposed conceptions of human nature and of reason at the heart of the respective philosophies. For Kant, the first exercise of reason in the garden is an act of rebellion that jettisons the human person from the womb of nature into a post-natural freedom. The repudiation of the natural is the beginning of an ethical life, according to Kant—a life to be dominated by respect for a human dignity beyond the natural. For Maimonides, in contrast, reason is a philosophical torah li-shma . Rational understanding is an understanding of the laws of a nature fecund with the presence of the divine. Exposing the reason inherent in nature is the only path to knowledge of God and whatever communion with the divine is available to human beings. Such knowledge transforms the heart as well as fills the mind, embedding the human person as moral actor in a God-filled universe. (shrink)
Abstract Proceeding from Jewish philosophy's origins in the convergence and divergence of Greek and Jewish thought and the resulting possibilities of construing Judaism and philosophy as heterogeneous or homogeneous, and ranging across the three major “ages“ or linguistic matrices of Jewish philosophizing (Hellenistic, Judeo-Arabic, and Germanic), the essay describes Jewish philosophy as an unresolvable entanglement in a dialectic of heteronomy and autonomy.
The paper uses tropes culled from several of Hannah Arendt's works, as well as Rebecca Schneider's performance-theoretical considerations on "reenactment", to analyze the work of artist Miriam Shenitzer, specifically a show of drawings, captions, and objects called "A Putative Life of Hannah Arendt." The essay probes this "putative life" as construed from the artist's own memory fragments, as well as from faux-artifacts that constitute a "collection" without claim to representing an actual past. With access to history denied and a heritage (...) claimed "without testament," the artist opens a space "between past and future," a moment of contemplation on the borders between private and public lives. (shrink)
Many recent journal articles and monographs by students of Jewish philosophy have been dedicated to the question of definition: what is Jewish philosophy, and how can it be distinguished from its others, such as Jewish thought, non-philosophical Judaism, and non-Jewish philosophy, philosophical theory of religion, etc. In this essay, I take a somewhat playful alternative approach by asking about philosophers rather than philosophies. The first parts compares the status of philosophers in different cultures. In comparison with the high regard for (...) philosophy and philosophers, philosophers were not regarded highly by the Jews, at least not since the rabbinic tradition made Hellenism appear contemptible. Conversely, Hellenizing Greeks and Jews considered Judaism not just compatible with the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle but itself a philosophy and regarded the Jews as a “race of philosophers” (Theophrastus). The canon of Jewish philosophers wavers between none and all, depending on who establishes such a canon. In the final section, I follow the intuitions of Gillian Rose, whose death-bed conversion may, to some, put her beyond the pale of Jewish philosophers and who contributes a useful mode of decanonization to the discussion of who is a Jewish philosopher. (shrink)