By Eliezer Schweid

ISBN-10: 9004207333

ISBN-13: 9789004207332

A accomplished, interdisciplinary account of the most important thinkers and pursuits in sleek Jewish notion, within the context of basic philosophy and Jewish social-political ancient advancements. quantity 1 (of five) covers the interval from Spinoza throughout the Enlightenment.

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Extra info 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)

Sample text

This occurred outside the Jewish community but within the preparatory stages of the general Enlightenment philosophy in the seventeenth century. For one of the outstanding philosophers who prepared the philosophy of the general Enlightenment and determined its relation to religion—Baruch Spinoza—was a Jewish philosopher whose early philosophical education was rooted in Jewish philosophy 8 The name of Maharal (Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague) is emblematic of the whole renaissance of philosophical and kabbalistic thought that took place in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the Mediterranean lands and northern Europe.

Their thinking informed the Enlightenment as a secular-rationalist movement, striving for fundamental political change of the relation of state and religion, and for a scientific transformation of traditional Western culture. 26 introduction Modern Jewish philosophy also began with the appearance of enlightened philosophers who absorbed the changes in their European environment, responded to it, and seized the opportunity to lead the movement of enlightenment among their own people. We may speak of a cultural lag here, in which the Jewish Enlightenment followed the general European Enlightenment; certainly the special social and political circumstances of the Jews as a Diaspora people played a part.

One proceeds from the standpoint of religion, and the other from philosophy. The one seeks to solve the problem of religion in culture, and the other seeks to solve the problem of culture in religion. Together, they express concretely the official methodological distinction in modern philosophy between religious philosophy and philosophy of religion. But the meanings of the terms have undergone almost complete reversal. Philosophy of religion, in the modern sense, took the viewpoint of secular humanistic culture—according to which religion is a creation of the human spirit—but it is an unusual creation.

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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) by Eliezer Schweid


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