A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy: Volume 1 - by Leonard Levin Eliezer Schweid

By Leonard Levin Eliezer Schweid

The end result of Eliezer Schweids life-work as Jewish highbrow historian, this five-volume paintings presents a entire, interdisciplinary account of the key thinkers and pursuits in glossy Jewish suggestion, within the context of normal philosophy and Jewish social-political old advancements. an immense subject matter of the paintings is the reaction of Jewish inspiration to the increase and predicament of Western humanism from the seventeenth during the twentieth centuries.Volume One, The interval of the Enlightenment, encompasses a methodological creation to the bigger paintings, in addition to thorough shows of Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Maimon, Ascher, Wessely, Schnaber and Krochmal. pill essays on Kant, Hegel, and Schelling spotlight the problems they bring up that might be of the most important value for Jewish inspiration.

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Therefore the conceptions of God and the world in the two cultures stand opposed to each other, as we have described: a supernatural divine revelation on the one hand, as opposed to knowing God through the Logos that penetrates nature and distinguishes the human being from all other creatures. In other words, a personal supernatural God who creates and governs the world, as opposed to an eternal intellect that unites the world through its self-knowledge. The original intention of philosophy was to develop, purify, and perfect the notion of nature implicit in pagan mythology.

The final result was to transform and redefine of all the creative functions of the culture, including religion, which in the end was considered still useful—not for the purpose of its supremacy, but rather for the utility of the state that could use it, or for the moral and psychological benefit of its citizens. 30 introduction This, it seems, was the essence of the revolution that took place. Religious truth, too, began to be conceived from the perspective of the authors of the revolution, who set up human happiness and earthly fulfillment at the center of their outlook.

These two ways are complementary in their roles. But what distinguishes them? The answer is—the method of propagation and learning. Yet it is clear that we are speaking not only of different means of expression, but also of the different fundamental assumptions of the way of learning. The whole tension between religion and philosophy is focused in these assumptions. They appear as two different styles of thought: a credulous way of thinking that is based on the authority of external, dogmatic proclamation; and a rational way of thinking, that is based on scientific, systematic experience and on intellectual reflection.

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