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Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903–1994) was an Israeli philosopher and scientist. For decades, his thinking and persona were the embodiment of a Judaism that was vital, rebuking, involved, and committed to all the Jews of Israel. As seen in this book, Leibowitz’s far-reaching public statements are not a certain aspect of this thinking, but its very essence. They are the essence of this thinking even when he is seemingly involved with other, distant issues, such as his exegesis of Maimonides and his writings on popular science. These broad vistas are an invitation to those interested in Israel to meet an Israeli thinker who greatly impressed several generations of listeners, and to become acquainted with part of Israel’s intellectual life.
Jacob Taubes is one of the most significant intellectual figures in the more recent German intellectual scene—and beyond. However, Taubes was either dismissed as a highly controversial character, or as a mere commentator of ongoing debates, or the reception was restricted to his considerations on religion and the ambivalences of secularity. This volume challenges these reductions by putting Taubes' original, albeit marginalised, texts into new, sometimes surprising contexts. Furthermore, it relates familiar topics in his oeuvre to lesser-known themes that are still highly pertinent for contemporary discussions on faith, modernity, and the limits of politics.
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This study – the first full-length monograph in English on the subject – discusses the genesis of Theodor Lessing’s philosophy of history as mainly expressed in his books Geschichte als Sinngebung des Sinnlosen (1919 and 1927), as well as its philosophical implications. Lessing on the one hand vehemently denies that historians can know the past as it actually happened. On the other hand, and rather surprisingly, he emphasizes the exceptional importance of history within a culture, because of what he calls its religious function. His penetrating analysis of history is remarkably relevant for ongoing debates on the very nature of history.
Henryk Grossman is best-known as a Marxist economist but he also wrote valuable political texts as a leader of the revolutionary organisation of Jewish workers in the Polish province of Austria, before the First World War, as a member of the Communist Workers Party of Poland, during the early 1920s, and as a Marxist academic during the early 1930s. These writings dealt with the political situation, tactics and strategy of Jewish Social Democratic Party of Galicia, the initial reception of Marxism in Poland and then substantial entries on left wing movements, organisations and individuals in a multi-volume reference work.
Studies on the Reception of Levi ben Gerson’s Philosophical, Halakhic and Scientific Oeuvre in the 14th through 20th Centuries. Officina Philosophica Hebraica Volume 2
Gersonides’ Afterlife is the first full-scale treatment of the reception of one of the greatest scientific minds of medieval Judaism: Gersonides (1288–1344). An outstanding representative of the Hebrew Jewish culture that then flourished in southern France, Gersonides wrote on mathematics, logic, astronomy, astrology, physical science, metaphysics and theology, and commented on almost the entire bible. His strong-minded attempt to integrate these different areas of study into a unitary system of thought was deeply rooted in the Aristotelian tradition and yet innovative in many respects, and thus elicited diverse and often impassionate reactions. For the first time, the twenty-one papers collected here describe Gersonides’ impact in all fields of his activity and the reactions from his contemporaries up to present-day religious Zionism.
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Agnon’s Story is the first complete psychoanalytic biography of the Nobel-Prize-winning Hebrew writer S.Y. Agnon. It investigates the hidden links between his stories and his biography. Agnon was deeply ambivalent about the most important emotional “objects” of his life, in particular his “father-teacher,” his ailing, depressive and symbiotic mother, his emotionally-fragile wife, whom he named after her and his adopted “home-land” of Israel. Yet he maintained an incredible emotional resiliency and ability to “sublimate” his emotional pain into works of art. This biography seeks to investigate the emotional character of his literary canon, his ambivalence to his family and the underlying narcissistic grandiosity of his famous “modesty.”
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The culmination of Eliezer Schweid’s life-work as a Jewish intellectual historian, this five-volume work provides a comprehensive, interdisciplinary account of the major thinkers and movements in modern Jewish thought, in the context of general philosophy and Jewish social-political historical developments, with extensive primary source excerpts.
Volume Three, The Crisis of Humanism, commences with an important essay on the challenge to the humanist tradition posed in the late 19th century by historical materialism, existentialism and positivism. This is background for the constructive philosophies which sought at the same time to address the general crisis of moral value and provide a positive basis for Jewish existence. Among the thinkers presented in this volume are Moses Hess, Moritz Lazarus, Hermann Cohen (in impressive depth, with a thorough exposition of the Ethics and Religion of Reason), Ahad Ha-Am, I. J. Reines, Simon Dubnow, M. Y. Berdiczewski, the theorists of the Bund, Chaim Zhitlovsky, Nachman Syrkin, and Ber Borochov.
Michael L. Morgan is an Emeritus Chancellor Professor at Indiana University and the Senator Jerahmiel S. and Carole S. Grafstein Visiting Chair in Jewish Philosophy at the University of Toronto. On the faculty of Indiana University for his entire career, he has also held Visiting Professorships at the Australian Catholic University, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, and Yale University. A historian of philosophy informed by the continental and analytic philosophical traditions, Morgan has reflected on the key challenge of our day: how is objectivity possible in light of the historicity of human life? An interpreter of both “Athens” and “Jerusalem,” Morgan has written on ancient Greek philosophy, modern Jewish philosophy, post-Holocaust theology and ethics, Zionism, and Messianism.
Hasidic Art and the Kabbalah presents eight case studies of manuscripts, ritual objects, and folk art developed by Hasidic masters in the mid-eighteenth to late nineteenth centuries, whose form and decoration relate to sources in the Zohar, German Pietism, and Safed Kabbalah. Examined at the delicate and difficult to define interface between seemingly simple, folk art and complex ideological and conceptual outlooks which contain deep, abstract symbols, the study touches on aspects of object history, intellectual history, the decorative arts, and the history of religion. Based on original texts, the focus of this volume is on the subjective experience of the user at the moment of ritual, applying tenets of process philosophy and literary theory – Wolfgang Iser, Gaston Bachelard, and Walter Benjamin – to the analysis of objects.
Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, January 2014
The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum contains the proceedings of the second international Etty Hillesum Congress at Ghent University in January 2014 and is a joint effort by fifteen Hillesum experts to shed new light on the life, works and vision of the Dutch Jewish writer Etty Hillesum (1914-1943), one of the victims of the Nazi-regime. Hillesum’s diaries and letters illustrate her heroic struggle to come to terms with her personal life in the context of the Holocaust. This volume revives Hillesum research with a comprehensive rereading of her texts. With the current rise of interest in peace studies, Judaism, the Holocaust, inter-religious dialogue, gender studies and mysticism, it is evident that this book will be invaluable to students and scholars in various disciplines.