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The Veiled God

Friedrich Schleiermacher’s Theology of Finitude

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Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft

In The Veiled God, Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft offers a detailed portrait of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s early life, ethics, and theology in its historical and social context. She also critically reflects on the enduring relevance of his work for the study of religion.
The book analyses major texts from Schleiermacher’s early work. It argues that his experiments with literary form convey his understanding that human knowledge is inherently social, and that religion is thoroughly linguistic and historical. The book contends that by making finitude (and not freedom) a universal aspect to human life, Schleiermacher offers rich conceptual resources for considering what it means to be human in this world, both in relations of difference to others, and in relation to the infinite.

Edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann and Ryan Szpiech

First published as a special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters (vol. 23, 2017), this volume, edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann, and Ryan Szpiech, brings together fifteen studies on various aspects of the astrolabe in medieval cultures. The astrolabe, developed in antiquity and elaborated throughout the Middle Ages, was used for calculation, teaching, and observation, and also served astrological and medical purposes. It was the most popular and prestigious of the mathematical instruments, and was found equally among practitioners of various sciences and arts as among princes in royal courts. By considering sources and instruments from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish contexts, this volume provides state-of-the-art research on the history and use of the astrolabe throughout the Middle Ages.

Contributors are Silke Ackermann, Emilia Calvo, John Davis, Laura Fernández Fernández, Miquel Forcada, Azucena Hernández, David A. King, Taro Mimura, Günther Oestmann, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, Petra G. Schmidl, Giorgio Strano, Flora Vafea, and Johannes Thomann.

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Edited by Emma O’Donnell Polyakov

Antisemitism, Islamophobia, and Interreligious Hermeneutics: Ways of Seeing the Religious Other, edited by Emma O’Donnell Polyakov, examines the hermeneutics of interreligious encounter in contexts of conflict. It investigates the implicit judgments of Judaism and Islam that often arise in response to these conflicts, and explores the implications of these interpretations for relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Addressing antisemitism and Islamophobia through the tools of interreligious hermeneutics, this volume brings together three distinct discourses: the study of ancient and new tropes of antisemitism as they appear in today’s world; research into contemporary expressions of fear or suspicion of Islam; and philosophical reflections on the hermeneutics of interreligious encounters.

Martin Buber

His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy

Edited by Sam Berrin Shonkoff

Martin Buber: His Intellectual and Scholarly Legacy is a collection of contemporary reflections on one of the most pivotal figures of modern Jewish thought. Born in Austria and reared in Galicia, Buber (1878-1965) became a spiritual representative of Judaism in German culture before emigrating to Jerusalem on the brink of the Shoah. His prolific writings on matters spanning the Hebrew Bible and New Testament to Hasidism and Zionism inspired diverse audiences throughout the world. In this volume, Sam Berrin Shonkoff has curated an illuminating array of essays on Buber’s thought by leading intellectuals from five different countries. Their treatments of Buber’s dialogues with Christianity, politics, philosophy, and Judaism exhibit Buber’s ramified legacy and will surely stimulate fruitful discussion in our own time.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

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.

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Jakob W. Wirén

In Hope and Otherness, Jakob Wirén analyses the place and role of the religious Other in contemporary eschatology. In connection with this theme, he examines and compares different levels of inclusion and exclusion in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish eschatologies. He argues that a distinction should be made in approaches to this issue between soteriological openness and eschatological openness. By going beyond Christian theology and also looking to Muslim and Jewish sources and by combining the question of the religious Other with eschatology, Wirén explores ways of articulating Christian eschatology in light of religious otherness, and provides a new and vital slant to the threefold paradigm of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism that has been prevalent in the theology of religions.

“Jakob Wirén’s study pushes forward the frontiers of three disciplines all at the same time: theology of religions; comparative religions and eschatology. (…) This is a challenging and important book.”
- Gavin D'Costa, University of Bristol, Professor of Catholic Theology, 2017

“This book explores of the status of religious others in Christian eschatology, and of eschatology itself as a privileged place for reflecting on religious otherness. Wiren mines not only Christian, but also Jewish and Muslim sources to develop an inclusive eschatology. Hope and Otherness thus represents an important contribution to both theology of religions and comparative theology.”
- Catherine Cornille, Boston College, Professor of Comparative Theology, 2017

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Walter Homolka

Historical Jesus research, Jewish or Christian, is marked by the search for origins and authenticity. The various Quests for the Historical Jesus contributed to a crisis of identity within Western Christianity. The result was a move “back to the Jewish roots!”
For Jewish scholars it was a means to position Jewry within a dominantly Christian culture. As a consequence, Jews now feel more at ease to relate to Jesus as a Jew.
For Walter Homolka the Christian challenge now is to formulate a new Christology: between a Christian exclusivism that denies the universality of God, and a pluralism that endangers the specificity of the Christian understanding of God and the uniqueness of religious traditions, including that of Christianity.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

David Shatz is the Ronald P. Stanton University Professor of Philosophy, Ethics, and Religious Thought at Yeshiva University. With rabbinic ordination earned at Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. with distinction in philosophy from Columbia University, Shatz is committed to integrating Judaism and secular wisdom. An analytic philosopher as well as a Jewish philosopher, he has written extensively on free will, ethics, epistemology, medieval and modern Jewish philosophy, and philosophy of religion. His writings cover such topics as autonomy, altruism, philosophical skepticism, science and Judaism, peer review, theodicy, biblical interpretation, Maimonides, modern rabbinic figures, messianism, fanaticism, religious diversity, and theology. Shatz is also editor of the MeOtzar HoRav series, which publishes manuscripts of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and is editor of the Torah u-Madda Journal.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Menachem Fisch is the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Director of the Center for Religious and Interreligious Studies, and former Chair of the Graduate School of Philosophy at Tel Aviv University. He is also the Senior Fellow of the Kogod Center for the Renewal of Jewish Thought at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem. Trained in physics, philosophy, and the history and philosophy of science, Fisch has confronted epistemological questions and applied his answers to Jewish philosophy, integrating it into the larger discourse of rationality, normativity, religion, politics, and science. His work brings a creative combination of historical, philosophical, and critical insights to an analysis of Talmudic texts, thereby establishing a new and original understanding of rabbinic legal reasoning and religious commitment.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Tamar Ross is Professor of Jewish Philosophy (Emerita) at Bar-Ilan University. She has written extensively on the Musar movement, the thought of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the ideology of Mitnagedism, and the relationship of Orthodoxy and feminism. Conversant with classical rabbinic sources and analytic philosophy, she champions the notion of cumulative revelation in pursuit of a non-foundationalist notion of truth, both religious and scientific. Responding to the feminist critique, she articulates an original and constructive Jewish theology sympathetic to the later stages of Wittgenstein’s philosophy of language and to complementary motifs in Jewish mysticism. Her philosophy of halakha similarly builds on post-positivist legal theory, demonstrating the transformative influence of women's direct input on a legal system previously managed exclusively by men.