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A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy

Volume III: The Crisis of Humanism. A Historial Crossroads

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Eliezer Schweid

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.

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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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Adam Afterman

In “And They Shall Be One Flesh”: On the Language of Mystical Union in Judaism, Adam Afterman offers an extensive study of mystical union and embodiment in Judaism. Afterman argues that Philo was the first to articulate the notion of unio mystica in Judaism and is the source of the henōsis mysticism in the later Neoplatonic tradition. The study provides a detailed analysis of the Jewish medieval trends that developed different forms of mystical union and mystical embodiment through the divine name and spirit. The book argues that the development of unitive mysticism in Judaism is the fruit of the creative synthesis of rabbinic Judaism and Hellenistic and Arab philosophy, and a natural outcome of the theological articulation of the idea of monotheism itself.

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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

Rabbi J. David Bleich is Professor of Talmud (Rosh Yeshiva) at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, an affiliate of Yeshiva University, as well as the Director of its Postgraduate Institute for the study of Talmudic Jurisprudence and Family Law. In addition, he holds the Herbert and Florence Tenzer Chair of Jewish Law and Ethics at Yeshiva University and is Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law. A foremost authority on Jewish law and ethics, he has written extensively on medical ethics, Jewish law and contemporary social issues, and the interface of Jewish law and the American legal system. As the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai Jehuda in Manhattan, Rabbi Bleich teaches weekly Talmud classes and lectures on Jewish law and philosophy.

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Norbert M. Samuelson is Harold and Jean Grossman Chair of Jewish Studies and Professor of Religious Studies at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. Trained as an analytic philosopher, he went on to establish the Academy of Jewish Philosophy in 1980, which contributed greatly to the professionalization of Jewish philosophy in America. An ordained Reform rabbi, a constructive theologian, and a public intellectual, Samuelson has insisted that philosophy is the very heart of Judaism and that in order to survive in the 21st century Judaism must rethink itself in light of contemporary science. Through his scholarship and organizational work he has brought a Jewish voice to the dialogue of religion and science. Viewing Jewish philosophy as central to the understanding of the Jewish past, Samuelson has explicated the philosophical dimension of Judaism, from the Bible to the present.

The Value of the Particular: Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish Experience

Festschrift for Steven T. Katz on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday

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Edited by Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson

In this tribute to Steven T. Katz on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson present sixteen original essays written by senior and junior scholars in comparative religion, philosophy of religion, modern Judaism, and theology after the Holocaust, fields of inquiry where Steven Katz made major contributions over the course of his distinguished scholarly career.

The authors of this volume, specialists in Jewish history, especially the modern experience, and Jewish thought from the Bible to Buber, offer theoretical and practical observations on the value of the particular. Contributions range from Tim Knepper’s reevaluation of the ineffability discourse to the particulars of the Settlement Cookbook, examined by Nora Rubel as an American classic.

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.

A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy

Volume II: The Birth of Jewish Historical Studies and the Modern Jewish Religious Movements

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Eliezer Schweid

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 Two, "The Birth of the Jewish Historical Studies and the Modern Jewish Religious Movements," discusses the major Jewish thinkers of central and eastern Europe before 1881, in connection with the movements they fostered: German-Jewish Wissenschaft (Zunz), Reform (Formstecher, Samuel Hirsch, Geiger), Neo-Orthodoxy (S. D. Luzzatto, Steinheim, Samson Raphael Hirsch), Positive-Historical (Frankel, Graetz), and Neo-Haredi (Kalischer, Malbim, Hayyim Volozhiner, Salanter). In addition, extensive attention is given to the thinkers of the east-European Haskalah, both earlier (Levinsohn, Rubin, Schorr, Mieses, Abraham Krochmal) and later proto-Zionist thinkers (Zweifel, Smolenskin, Pines, Lilienblum).

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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

David R. Blumenthal is Jay and Leslie Cohen Professor of Judaic Studies at Emory University. He has contributed greatly to the growth of Jewish Studies, the place of Judaism in Religious Studies, interreligious dialogue, and the reframing of Judaism in light of the Holocaust, postmodernism, and poststructuralism. For Blumenthal, theology is an ongoing reflection about everything we believe and do in the context of the living tradition.