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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.

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.

The Ethics and Religious Philosophy of Etty Hillesum

Proceedings of the Etty Hillesum Conference at Ghent University, January 2014

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Edited by Klaas A.D. Smelik, Meins G.S. Coetsier and Jurjen Wiersma

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.

Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology

The Malleable Self and the Presence of God

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Tyson L. Putthoff

In Ontological Aspects of Early Jewish Anthropology, Tyson L. Putthoff explores early Jewish beliefs about how the human self reacts ontologically in God’s presence. Combining contemporary theory with sound exegesis, Putthoff demonstrates that early Jews widely considered the self to be intrinsically malleable, such that it mimics the ontological state of the space it inhabits. In divine space, they believed, the self therefore shares in the ontological state of God himself. The book is critical for students and scholars alike. In putting forth a new framework for conceptualising early Jewish anthropology, it challenges scholars to rethink not only what early Jews believed about the self but how we approach the subject in the first place.

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Edited by Robert McKim

Religious Perspectives on Religious Diversity addresses fundamental and controversial questions raised by religious diversity. What are members of religious traditions to say about outsiders, their views, and their salvific status? And what are they to say about the religions of outsiders – about, say, whether those religions are inspired or salvifically effective or worthwhile or legitimate? Discussion of some Muslim, Christian, and Jewish perspectives is combined with more methodological work. The authors of these ground-breaking and original, yet readable and accessible, essays include established scholars and younger scholars whose reputation is growing.

Contributors are: Imran Aijaz, David Basinger, Paul Rhodes Eddy, Jerome Gellman, Mohammad Hassan Khalil, Eugene Korn, Daniel A. Madigan, Robert McKim, John Sanders, and Diego R. Sarrió Cucarella.

"Judaism, Christianity and Islam’s attitudes to other religions are thoughtfully examined in this collection, both with fine historical sensibility as well as original constructive contributions from leading scholars in the field. A series of helpful meta-reflections follow on: typologies in theology of religions; the act of comparison between traditions; and a plea for informed tolerance when difference is confronted. A rare treat: an edited collection that is of uniformly high quality, throwing immense light on the subject. It will help specialists and undergraduate students approaching the subject of religious pluralism." - Professor Gavin D’Costa, University of Bristol, September 2016.

Al-Ṣāḥib Ibn ʿAbbād Promoter of Rational Theology

Two Muʿtazilī kalām texts from the Cairo Geniza

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Edited by Wilferd Madelung and Sabine Schmidtke

The volume contains critical editions of the extant parts of two hitherto unknown theological works by the Būyid vizier al-Ṣāḥib b. ʿAbbād (d. 385/925), who is well known to have vigorously promoted the teaching of Muʿtazilī theology throughout Būyid territories and beyond. The manuscripts on which the edition is based come from Cairo Geniza store rooms. They consist of two manuscripts for each of the two texts—testimony to the impact of al-Ṣāḥib’s education policy on the contemporaneous Jewish community in Cairo. The longer treatise of al-Ṣāḥib of ca. 350/960, possibly his Kitāb Nahj al-sabīl fī uṣūl al-dīn, appears to be the earliest Muʿtazilī work preserved among the Jewish community. The second, briefer treatise also contains a commentary by ʿAbd al-Jabbār al-Hamadānī (d. 415/1025).

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Edited by John M. Dillon and Andrei Timotin

Platonic Theories of Prayer is a collection of ten essays on the topic of prayer in the later Platonic tradition. The volume originates from a panel on the topic held at the 2013 ISNS meeting in Cardiff, but is supplemented by a number of invited papers. Together they offer a comprehensive view of the various roles and levels of prayer characteristic of this period. The concept of prayer is shown to include not just formal petitionary or encomiastic prayer, but also theurgical practices and various states of meditation and ecstasy practised by such major figures as Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, Proclus, Damascius or Dionysius the Areopagite.

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Martin Wein

In History of the Jews in the Bohemian Lands, Martin Wein traces the interaction of Czechs and Jews, but also of Christian German-speakers, Slovaks, and other groups in the Bohemian lands and in Czechoslovakia throughout the first half of the twentieth century. This period saw accelerated nation-building and nation-cleansing in the context of hegemony exercised by a changing cast of great powers, namely Austria-Hungary, France, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union. The author examines Christian-Jewish and inner-Jewish relations in various periods and provinces, including in Subcarpathian Ruthenia, emphasizing interreligious alliances of Jews with Protestants, such as T. G. Masaryk, and political parties, for example a number of Social Democratic ones. The writings of Prague’s Czech-German-Jewish founders of theories of nationalism, Hans Kohn, Karl W. Deutsch, and Ernest Gellner, help to interpret this history.

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.