Introduction: in search of a Jewish renaissance -- Jewish philosophy: humanist roots of a contradiction in terms -- The prophetic-poetic dimension of philosophy: the ars poetica and Immanuel of Rome -- Leone Ebreo's concept of Jewish philosophy -- Conceptions of history: Azariah de Rossi -- Scientific thought and the exegetical mind, with an essay on the life and works of Rabbi Judah Loew -- Mathematical and biblical exegesis: Jewish sources of Athanasius Kircher's musical theory -- Creating (...) geographical and political utopias: the ten lost tribes and the east -- Ceremonial law: history of a philosophical-political concept -- The city and the ghetto: Simone Luzzatto and the development of Jewish political thought -- Body of conversion and immortality of the soul: Sara Copio Sullam, the 'Beautiful Jewess'. (shrink)
Modern Jewish Philosophy and the Politics of Divine Violence Is commitment to God compatible with modern citizenship? In this book, Daniel H. Weiss provides new readings of four modern Jewish philosophers - Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Walter Benjamin - in light of classical rabbinic accounts of God's sovereignty, divine and human violence, and the embodied human being as the image of God. He demonstrates how classical rabbinic literature is relevant to contemporary political and philosophical debates. (...) Weiss brings to light striking political aspects of the writings of the modern Jewish philosophers, who have often been understood as non-political. In addition, he shows how the four modern thinkers are more radical and more shaped by Jewish tradition than has previously been thought. Taken as a whole, Weiss' book argues for a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between Judaism and politics, the history of Jewish thought, and the ethical and political dynamics of the broader Western philosophical tradition. (shrink)
Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy contests the ancient opposition between Athens and Jerusalem by retrieving the concept of meontology - the doctrine of nonbeing - from the Jewish philosophical and theological tradition. For Emmanuel Levinas, as well as for Franz Rosenzweig, Hermann Cohen and Moses Maimonides, the Greek concept of nonbeing clarifies the meaning of Jewish life. These thinkers of 'Jerusalem' use 'Athens' for Jewish ends, justifying Jewish anticipation of a future messianic era (...) as well as portraying the subjects intellectual and ethical acts as central in accomplishing redemption. This book envisions Jewish thought as an expression of the intimate relationship between Athens and Jerusalem. It also offers new readings of important figures in contemporary Continental philosophy, critiquing previous arguments about the role of lived religion in the thought of Jacques Derrida, the role of Plato in the thought of Emmanuel Levinas and the centrality of ethics in the thought of Franz Rosenzweig. (shrink)
Jewish learning and thought in Languedoc -- 1250-1300: implications of original philosophic work and the diffusion of philosophic learning in Languedoc -- 1250-1300: Jewish contacts with Christian intellectuals and Jewish thought regarding Christianity -- Meiri's transformation of Talmud study: philosophic spirituality in a halakhic key -- 1300: on the eve of the controversy -- 1300-1304: knowledge and authority in dispute -- 1304-1306: the controversy peaks -- The effects of the expulsion: Jewish philosophic culture in Roussillon and (...) Provence. (shrink)
Contemporary Jewish Philosophy offers a comprehensive survey of Jewish philosophy in the twentieth century. At the same time, it gives an appraisal of the meaning of this philosophy within the context of the history of philosophy. Jewish philosophers who are introduced are the most important in this age: Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, Leo Strauss, Emmanuel Le;vinas. The problems which are emphasized are the crisis of humanism and the quest for new thinking. This book provides a (...) new approach to philosophical anthropology. (shrink)
"Jewish Philosophy and the Academy reflects in broad terms on the current state of Jewish philosophy in the university. This generation of university teachers lives at a unique historic junction. It is the last to be taught by the giants of European Wissenschaft des Judentums and the first to experience the remarkable expansion of Judaic scholarship in Israel and abroad." "Emil Fackenheim suggests that if we are indebted to Athens for the philosophical method, we are also indebted to (...) Jerusalem for the ethical content of philosophy, which is both an intellectual and a moral challenge. This dual challenge shapes the diverse papers in this volume."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (shrink)
The Jewish Philosophy Reader is the first comprehensive anthology of classic writings on Jewish philosophy from the Bible to postmodernism. The Reader is clearly divided into four separate parts: Foundations and First Principles, Medieval and Renaissance Jewish Philosophy, Modern Jewish Thought, and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy. Each part is clearly introduced by the editors. The readings featured are representative writings of each era listed above and are from the following major thinkers: Abrabanel, Baeck, Bergman, Borowitz, Buber, (...) Cohen, Crescas, Fackenheim, Geiger, Gersonides, Goodman, Graetz, Halevi, Hartman, Heschel, Hess, Hirsch, Ibn Ezra, Ibn Gabirol, Ibn Paquda, Kellner, Kook, Krochmal, Leibowitz, Levinas, Maimonides, Maybaum, Mendelssohn, Novak, Philo, Plaskow, Rosenzweig, Saadia, Scholem, Seeskin, Soloveitchik, Spinoza, Strauss, Wolf, Zunz. (shrink)
This essay relates my life story as a Jewish philosopher who was born and raised in Israel but whose academic career has taken place in the United States. The essay explains how I developed my approach to Jewish philosophy as intellectual history, viewing philosophy as cultural practice. My research evolved over time from preoccupation with medieval and early-modern Jewish philosophy and mysticism to contemporary concerns of feminism, environmentalism, and transhumanism. Through a personal life story, the essay makes (...) the case for doing philosophy in a contextual, cross-cultural, and interdisciplinary way, integrating the desire for universality and the commitment for differentiated particularity. Jewish philosophy offers a viable model for the intellectual challenges facing all people in the twenty-first century. (shrink)
In this innovative volume contemporary philosophers respond to classic works of Jewish philosophy. For each of twelve central topics in Jewish philosophy, Jewish philosophical readings, drawn from the medieval period through the twentieth century, appear alongside an invited contribution that engages both the readings and the contemporary philosophical literature in a constructive dialogue. The twelve topics are organized into four sections, and each section commences with an overview of the ensuing dialogue and concludes with a list of (...) further readings. The introduction to the volume assesses the current state of Jewish philosophy and argues for a deeper engagement with analytic philosophy, exemplified by the new contributions. Jewish Philosophy Past and Present: Contemporary Responses to Classical Sources is a cutting edge work of Jewish philosophy, and, at the same time, an engaging introduction to the issues that animated Jewish philosophers for centuries and to the texts that they have produced. It is designed to set the agenda in Jewish philosophy for years to come. (shrink)
An examination of Jewish philosophy in the modern age and in light of secular philosophy. Ch. 8 (pp. 189-211), "Fackenheim's Dilemma, " deals with Emil Fackenheim's philosophy concerning the Holocaust, and the place of God and Judaism in a post-Holocaust world. Expounds on his theology, his existential theories, and his attitude to Jewish history.
This book is intended as a text for courses in Jewish philosophy, as well as for more general courses in religious thought, in Judaism, and in philosophy. The book presupposes no prior background in Judaism, in philosophy, or in Jewish philosophy. Each chapter concludes with sets of key terms and questions as well as recommendations for further reading.
__ _Philosophy and Rabbinic Culture_ is a study of the great, and curiously underappreciated, engagement of a Medieval European Jewish community with the philosophic tradition. This lucid description of the Languedocian Jewish community's multigenerational cultivation of - and acculturation to - scientific and philosophic teachings into Judaism fulfils a major desideratum in Jewish cultural history. In the first detailed account of this long-forgotten Jewish community and its cultural ideal, the author gives an expansive reappraisal of the (...) role of the philosophic interpretation in rabbinic culture and medieval Judaism. Looking at how the cultural ideal of Languedocian Jewry continued to develop and flourish throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, with particular reference to the literary style and religious teaching of the great Talmudist, Menahem ha-Meiri, Stern explores issues such as Meiri’s theory of "civilized religions", including Christianity and Islam, controversy over philosophy and philosophic allegory in Languedoc and Catalonia, and the cultural significance of the medical use of astrological images. This book will be of great interest to scholars and students of Religion, of Judaism in particular, and of Philosophy, History and Medieval Europe, as well as those interested in Jewish-Christian relations. (shrink)
Jewish philosophy has seen better days. It has been quite a while since the discipline of Jewish philosophy enjoyed the respect of the wider philosophical community, and an obvious question is what are the reasons for this state of things? Providing a detailed and thorough answer to this question is beyond the scope of the current chapter. Still, I would like to contribute here a few ideas that might shed some light on the current predicament and its causes. (...) Such an attempt is timely because the current moment in the development of Anglo-American philosophy is impregnated with a promise – which I hope is sincere – to turn the study of philosophy and the history of philosophy into an inclusive and genuinely universal field of inquiry, shared equally by all human beings, rather than an imposition of the prevalent beliefs of white Christian European males. A study of philosophy that is genuinely ecumenical could profit enormously from the encounter and dialogue with the philosophical thinking of minority cultures, since it is precisely this encounter with the philosophical thought of minority cultures that could expose the potentially numerous blind spots of the majority. If anything can heal Western philosophy from the prejudice that what one takes to be natural must be equally judged so by all rational human beings, it is only the encounter with non-Christian, or non-Western, philosophical thinking that could refute its illusory pretense of universality. Obviously, the real issue at stake is the sincerity of the attempt to understand foreign cultures and their philosophical thinking in their own terms. An identity politics that is merely interested in extending fig leaves would be far worse than the old, conservative state of things, insofar as the new and “inclusive” appearance would only provide the majority culture with a sense of self-satisfaction that would allow it to stick to its old and obstinate prejudicial practices. My aims in the current chapter are pretty modest and concrete. In the first two parts of the chapter, I will attempt to shed light on two blind spots related to perceptions of Jewish philosophy, from without and from within, respectively. These two parts will thus inquire into the nature of Jewish philosophy as minority philosophy. In the third and final part, I will turn to the rudimentary requirements of Jewish philosophy qua philosophy. In this part, I will suggest some fundamental desiderata which might – I hope – help the field flourish and achieve the recognition it deserves. Here too, my claims would be quite plain, as most of the desired characteristics I would argue for are pretty trivial, yet unfortunately still mostly lacking. (shrink)
Is there a Jewish philosophy? By L. Roth.--Philo and Judaism in Alexandria, by R. Loewe.--Maimonides, by I. Epstein.--The mystical school, by L. Jacobs.--Spinoza, by D. D. Raphael.--Philosophers and the emancipation, by D. Patterson.--Zionist philosophers, by D. Patterson.--Franz Rosenzweig and the existentialist philosophers, by I. Maybaum.
Since the classical period, Jewish scholars have drawn on developments in philosophy to enrich our understanding of Judaism. This methodology reached its pinnacle in the medieval period with figures like Maimonides and continued into the modern period with the likes of Rosenzweig. The explosion of Anglo-American/analytic philosophy in the twentieth century means that there is now a host of material, largely unexplored by Jewish philosophy, with which to explore, analyze, and develop the Jewish tradition. Jewish Philosophy (...) in an Analytic Age features contributions from leading scholars in the field which investigate Jewish texts, traditions, and/or thinkers, in order to showcase what Jewish philosophy can be in an analytic age. United by the new and engaging style of philosophy, the collection explores rabbinic and Talmudic philosophy; Maimonidean philosophy; philosophical theology; and ethics and value theory. (shrink)
In his monumental Philosophy of the Kalam the late Harry Wolfson--truly the most accomplished historian of philosophy in our century--examined the early medieval system of Islamic philosophy. He studies its repercussions in Jewish thought in this companion book--an indispensable work for all students of Jewish and Islamic traditions. Wolfson believed that ideas are contagious, but that for beliefs to catch on from one tradition to another the recipients must be predisposed, susceptible. Thus he is concerned here not so (...) much with the influence of Islamic ideas as with Jewish elaboration, adaptation, qualification, and criticism of them. To this end he examines passages reflecting Kalam views by a wide variety of Jewish thinkers, including Isaac Israeli, Judah Halevi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Maimonides. As always in Wolfson's work, two aspects are apparent: the special dimensions of Jewish thought as well as its relation to other traditions. And as always his prose is both graceful and precise. (shrink)
If, in content and in method, philosophy and religion conflict, can there be a Jewish philosophy? What makes a Jewish thinker a philosopher? Emil L. Fackenheim confronts these questions in a profound and insightful series of essays on the great Jewish thinkers from Maimonides through Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, and Leo Strauss. Fackenheim also contemplates the task of Jewish philosophy after the Holocaust. While providing access to key Jewish thinkers of the past, this (...) volume highlights the exciting achievements of one of today's most creative and most important Jewish philosophers. (shrink)
Distinguished philosopher Hilary Putnam, who is also a practicing Jew, questions the thought of three major Jewish philosophers of the 20th century—Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas—to help him reconcile the philosophical and religious sides of his life. An additional presence in the book is Ludwig Wittgenstein, who, although not a practicing Jew, thought about religion in ways that Putnam juxtaposes to the views of Rosenzweig, Buber, and Levinas. Putnam explains the leading ideas of each of these great (...) thinkers, bringing out what, in his opinion, constitutes the decisive intellectual and spiritual contributions of each of them. Although the religion discussed is Judaism, the depth and originality of these philosophers, as incisively interpreted by Putnam, make their thought nothing less than a guide to life. (shrink)
The authors found correspondence of several significant traits of Jewish mysticism with traits of Buddhism and other systems of Indian religion and philosophy in the literature. Among the corresponding traits is the fundamental idea of emptiness or nothingness, shuunyataa in Sanskrit, ayin in Hebrew. Also corresponding are attempts to harmonise the idea and experience of emptiness with fullness, and with the experience of the secular world with its many things and concepts. They list eight significant traits of Jewish (...) mysticism, which are found to correspond with traits of Indian religion-philosophies. This is of course a study in comparative religion, but some important relations between these Indian and Jewish belief systems with modern science are also discussed. (shrink)
There are multiple manners of defining Jewish philosophy. The controversies woven around this topic seem to leave the issue perpetually open instead of determining a unique and final perspective. However, this outcome is indubitably an indication of the fact that Jewish philosophy proposes a privileged manner of understanding Judaism through the encounter between philosophy and religion as a founding polar- ity of a creative tradition. One of the ways of asserting this polarity has gained the symbolic dimension of (...) superimposing two cultural paradigms. This has been expressed through the metaphor of two cities, namely Jerusalem and Athens, and through the metaphor of two lands, Greece and Israel. Out of these symbolic designations I will bring into discussion the standpoints of Leo Strauss and Abraham Joshua Heschel and will try to offer a new perspective over this issue. (shrink)
Jewish Faith and Modern Science address fundamental questions facing many contemporary Jews, including the relevance of traditional beliefs for Jews who are increasingly secular and liberal, and how recent advances in science affect conventional Jewish philosophy. Samuelson assesses the current state of Jewish thought and suggests how it should change to remain relevant in the future.
Performing reason: Mendelssohn on Judaism and enlightenment -- Jacobi and Mendelssohn: the tragedy of a messianic friendship -- In the year of the Lord 1800: Rosenzweig and the Spinoza quarrel -- Reinhold and Kant: the quest for a new religion of reason -- Beautiful life: Mendelssohn, Hegel, and Rosenzweig -- Mendelssohn, Rosenzweig, and political theology: beyond sovereign violence -- Beyond 1800: an immigrant Rosenzweig.
In this enlightening study, a noted scholar elucidates the distinguishing characteristics of the works of several Jewish thinkers of the Middle Ages. In addition to summaries of the main arguments and teachings of Moses Maimonides, Isaac Israeli, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daud, Hillel ben Samuel, Levi ben Gerson, Joseph Albo, and many others, the author offers insightful analyses and commentary. Of particular value to beginners, this volume is also an ever-relevant resource for many issues of scholarly debate.
This article represents an analysis of the Jewish philosophy of the Modern and Contemporary as the holistic phenomenon. In contrast to antiquity and the Middle Ages, when philosophy was a rather marginal part of Jewish thought, in Modern Times Jewish philosophy is formed as a distinct part of the World philosophy. Despite the fact that representatives of Jewish philosophy wrote in different languages and actively participated in the different national schools of philosophy, their work has internal (...) continuity and integrity. The article formulates the following five criteria for belonging to Jewish philosophy: belonging to philosophy itself; reliance on Jewish sources; the addressee of Jewish philosophy is an educated European; intellectual continuity ; working with a set of specific topics, such as monism, ethics and ontology, the significance of behavior and practical life, politics, the problem of man, intelligence, language and hermeneutics of the text, Athens and Jerusalem, dialogism. The article provides a list of the main authors who satisfy these criteria. The central ones can be considered Baruch Spinoza, Moshe Mendelssohn, Shlomo Maimon, German Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Josef Dov Soloveichik, Leo Strauss, Abraham Yehoshua Heshel, Eliezer Berkovich, Emil Fackenheim, Mordechai Kaplan, Emmanuel Levinas. The main conclusion of the article is that by the end of the 20th century Jewish philosophy, continuing both the traditions of classical European philosophy and Judaism, has become an important integral part of Western thought. (shrink)
"This work deals wth three main topics: a. Maimonidean studies, b. aspects of medieval rabbinic literature, and c. intellectual history of the Jews in southern France (Provence) during the Middle Ages."--Back cover.
This paper depicts the meanings of human dignity as they unfold and evolve in the Bible and the "Halakhah". I posit that three distinct features of a Jewish conception of human dignity can be identified in contrast to core characteristics of a liberal conception of human dignity. First, the original source of human dignity is not intrinsic to the human being but extrinsic, namely in God. Second, it is argued that the "dignity of the people" has precedence over personal (...) autonomy and liberty, which are core liberal pillars. The third characteristic pertains to the potential conflict between personal autonomy and liberty, and God's commandments. The theoretical analysis of human dignity is then examined in light of several Supreme Court decisions in Israel during the 1990s. I illustrate that Jewish religious and secular-liberal conceptions pull in different directions in the rulings of liberal and religious Justices in Israel. (shrink)