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Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge

"The Study of Torah is Equal to them All"

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Hannah Hashkes

In Rabbinic Discourse as a System of Knowledge Hannah Hashkes employs contemporary philosophy in describing rabbinic reasoning as a rational response to experience. Hashkes combines insights from the philosophy of Quine and Davidson with the semiotics of Peirce to construe knowledge as systematic reasoning occurring within a community of inquiry. Her reading of the works of Emmanuel Levinas and Jean-Luc Marion allows her to create a philosophical bridge between a discourse of God and a discourse of reason. This synthesis of pragmatism, hermeneutics and theology provides Hashkes with a sophisticated tool to understand Rabbinic Judaism. It also makes this study both unique and pathbreaking in contemporary Jewish philosophy and Rabbinic thought.

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Michelle M. Hamilton

In Beyond Faith: Belief, Morality and Memory in a Fifteenth-Century Judeo-Iberian Manuscript, Michelle M. Hamilton sheds light on the concerns of Jewish and converso readers of the generation before the Expulsion. Using a mid-fifteenth-century collection of Iberian vernacular literary, philosophical and religious texts (MS Parm. 2666) recorded in Hebrew characters as a lens, Hamilton explores how its compiler or compilers were forging a particular form of personal, individual religious belief, based not only on the Judeo-Andalusi philosophical tradition of medieval Iberia, but also on the Latinate humanism of late 14th and early 15th-century Europe. The form/s such expressions take reveal the contingent and specific engagement of learned Iberian Jews and conversos with the larger Iberian, European and Arab Mediterranean cultures of the 15th-century.

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Edited by Wim Hofstee and A. van der Kooij

The volume Religion beyond its Private Role in Modern Society aims at contributing to the debate on the distinction between public and private spheres with regard to the role of religion in modern societies. This issue which is inherent to many conceptions regarding social order, modernity, freedom of conscience, and the changing role and function of religion is discussed not only from a social scientific but also from a historical and philosophical point of view. The articles dwell on several aspects of the role of religion in different societies in modern times, and the overall theme is explored from the perspective of various religious traditions and groups, both institutional and non-institutional. It turns out that the distinction made is difficult to maintain.