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A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy, Volume 1: by Eliezer Schweid

By Eliezer Schweid

A entire, interdisciplinary account of the foremost thinkers and activities in glossy Jewish idea, within the context of common philosophy and Jewish social-political historic advancements. quantity 1 (of five) covers the interval from Spinoza throughout the Enlightenment.

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Additional resources for A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy, Volume 1: The Period of the Enlightenment (Supplements to The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume 14)

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Many examples substantiate this. We will content ourselves here with pointing out that the prophets, and even more the priests, did not entirely deny the very existence of the forces of nature, or humanity’s direct dependency on them, and so they did not deny the need to relate to these forces through religious ritual. The relation to idolatry thus had to arrive at a compromise. Though the prophets condemned idolatry in this respect, especially where their own people were at stake, they did not deny the vital role and relative efficacy of the gods of the other nations to rule over nature.

Judaism, philosophy and modernity 15 We should be precise. Philosophy developed in ancient Greece from the pagan heritage that identified its gods as spiritual-personal embodiments of the forces of nature. Greek philosophy developed this heritage and embodied it in itself. It identified with it through critical confrontation that strove to reveal the supremacy of the “Logos” in nature and to raise the person who loved wisdom (which was knowledge of reality in its truth) to the level of the divine Logos that holds the world together.

One case in point was judaism, philosophy and modernity 31 the problem of understanding the relation of the knowing subject to the known object. Another was the relationship of causal determinism, revealed in nature, and the sense of purposive value that is linked with the free volitional choice of the human spirit. These dilemmas forced the scientist and the philosopher who based his view on science to go back and confront the complexity and mysteriousness of nature and the finitude and dependency of human reason.

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