On the Aquedah in Modern Philosophy

in The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy
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The story of the Aquedah represents one of the most moving stories of the Bible. Most modern discussions on it take their point of departure from Soren Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling. I shall do so too in this essay, which focuses on the relations between ethics and religious belief and tries to show that Kierkegaard misinterpreted the story. The inquiry analyzes philosophical responses to the Aquedah from Philo and Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers until the present. It underscores its paradoxical implications, including a structuralist analysis and comparison of the Aquedah with the biblical story of Yephta's daughter. The final conclusion asserts that what Kierkegaard extolled, Judaism condemns as sacrilege.



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