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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
The question on the essence of man and his relationship to nature is certainly one of the most important themes in the philosophy of Hans Jonas. One of the ways by which Jonas approaches the issue consists in a comparison between the contemporary interpretation of man and forms of wisdom such as those conveyed by ancient Greek philosophy and the Jewish tradition. The reconstruction and discussion of these frameworks play a fundamental role in Jonas’s critique of the modern mind. (...) In the first section I introduce the anthropological problem in Hans Jonas’s oeuvre. Moreover, I clarify why it becomes essential for Jonas to resort to different forms of traditional wisdom. In the second and third sections I try to give an account (as complete as possible) of the two generalisations which Jonas shapes in order to criticise the modern concepts of man and nature. In the last section I show how Jonas links these generalisations to his own philosophical assessment of modernity. Finally, I focus on his methodology, which exemplifies how critical thinking may arise from a reconsideration of traditional contents. (shrink)
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.
Inasmuch as this volume purports to address "Jewish Philosophers" and "Jewish Philosophy," we might ask at the outset just what is meant by each of these hybrid terms. Three issues here need to be addressed.
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)
Jewish philosophy is often presented as an addendum to Jewish religion rather than as a rich and varied tradition in its own right, but the _History of Jewish Philosophy_ explores the entire scope and variety of Jewish philosophy from philosophical interpretations of the Bible right up to contemporary Jewish feminist and postmodernist thought. The links between Jewish philosophy and its wider cultural context are stressed, building up a comprehensive and historically sensitive view of (...) class='Hi'>Jewish philosophy and its place in the development of philosophy as a whole. Includes: · Detailed discussions of the most important Jewish philosophers and philosophical movements · Descriptions of the social and cultural contexts in which Jewish philosophical thought developed throughout the centuries · Contributions by 35 leading scholars in the field, from Britain, Canada, Israel and the US · Detailed and extensive bibliographies. (shrink)
Rather than assume that the terms "philosophy" and "Judaism" simply belong together, Aaron W. Hughes explores the juxtaposition and the creative tension that ensues from their cohabitation. He examines the historical, cultural, intellectual, and religious filiations between Judaism and philosophy.
Medieval Jewish intellectuals living in Muslim and Christian lands were strongly concerned to recover what they regarded as a ‘lost’ Jewish philosophical tradition. As part of this project they transmitted and produced many philosophical and scientific works and commentaries, as well as philosophical commentary on scripture, in Judaeo-Arabic and Hebrew, the principal literary languages of medieval Jewry. This volume presents new or revised translations of seven prominent medieval Jewish rationalists: Saadia Gaon, Solomon ibn Gabirol, Moses Maimonides, Isaac (...) Albalag, Moses of Narbonne, Levi Gersonides, Hasdai Crescas and Joseph Albo - including, for the first time in English, the complete Falaquera abridgement of Gabirol's Source of Life. These works range over topics that are both theological (e.g. the creation of the world) and philosophical (e.g. determinism and free choice), but they are characterized by two overarching principles: the unity of truth, and its accessibility to human reason. (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)
This book surveys the vast body of medieval Jewish philosophy, devoting ample discussion to major figures such as Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, Abraham Ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi, Abraham Ibn Daoud, and Gersonides, as well as presenting the ancillary texts of lesser known authors. Sirat quotes little-known texts, providing commentary and situating them within their historical and philosophical contexts. A comprehensive bibliography directs the reader to the texts themselves and to recent studies.
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.
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.
Jewish business ethics in Israel addresses two major sources of economic immorality—unbounded desire and fear of economic uncertainty—through enforcement and spiritual education. Business is seen as a path to sanctity, when time is set apart for religious study, wealth is seen as originating from God, the vulnerable are protected against fraud and theft, charity is seen as an obligation, and mercy towards debtors is tempered by justice.
This study charts the development of creed formulation in Judaism from its inception with Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) to the beginning of the 16th century, when systematic attention to the problem disappeared from the agenda of Jewish intellectuals. Kellner describes, analyzes, and compares the dogmatic systems of Maimonides, Duran, Crescas, Albo, Bibago, Abravanel, and many others, and provides English translations of several previously unexamined or untranslated texts.
The problems of evil and suffering have been extensively discussed in Jewish philosophy, and much of the discussion has centred on the Book of Job. In this study Oliver Leaman poses two questions: how can a powerful and caring deity allow terrible things to happen to obviously innocent people, and why have the Jewish people been so harshly treated throughout history, given their status as the chosen people? He explores these issues through an analysis of the views of (...) Philo, Saadya, Maimonides, Gersonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, and post-Holocaust thinkers, and suggests that a discussion of evil and suffering is really a discussion about our relationship with God. (shrink)
The central debate of natural theology among medieval Muslims and Jews concerned whether or not the world was eternal. Opinions divided sharply on this issue because the outcome bore directly on God's relationship with the world: eternity implies a deity bereft of will, while a world with a beginning leads to the contrasting picture of a deity possessed of will. In this exhaustive study of medieval Islamic and Jewish arguments for eternity, creation, and the existence of God, Herbert Davidson (...) provides a systematic classification of the proofs, analyzes and explains them, and traces their sources in Greek philosophy. Throughout the study, Davidson tries to take into account every argument of a philosophical character, disregarding only those arguments that rest entirely on religious faith or which fall below a minimal level of plausibility. (shrink)
The 'Therapeutae' were a Jewish group of ascetic philosophers who lived outside Alexandria in the middle of the first century CE. They are described in Philo's treatise De Vita Contemplativa and have often been considered in comparison with early Christians, the Essenes, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. But who were they really? This study focuses particularly on issues of history, rhetoric, women, and gender in a wide exploration of the group, and comes to new conclusions about the 'Therapeutae' and (...) their relationship with the Jewish allegorical school of exegesis in Alexandria. The volume includes a new translation of De Vita Contemplativa. (shrink)
Many studies written about the Jewish-Christian relationship are primarily historical overviews that focus on the Jewish background of Christianity, the separation of Christianity from Judiasm, or the medieval disputations between the two faiths. This book is one of the first studies to examine the relationship from a philosophical and theological viewpoint. Carefully drawing on Jewish classical sources, Novak argues that there is actual justification for the new relationship between Judaism and Christianity from within Jewish religious tradition. (...) He demonstrates that this new relationship is possible between religiously committed Jews and Christians without the two major impediments to dialogue: triumphalism and relativism. One of the very few books on this topic written by a Jewish theologian who speaks specifically to modern Christian concerns, it will provide the groundwork for a more serious development of Jewish-Christian dialogue in our day. (shrink)