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Edited by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron W. Hughes

Jewish Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century encourages contemporary Jewish thinkers to reflect on the meaning of Judaism in the modern world by connecting these reflections to their own personal biographies. In so doing, it reveals the complexity of Jewish thought in the present moment. The contributors reflect on a range of political, social, ethical, and educational challenges that face Jews and Judaism today and chart a path for the future. The results showcase how Jewish philosophy encompasses the methodologies and concerns of other fields such as political theory, intellectual history, theology, religious studies, anthropology, education, comparative literature, and cultural studies. By presenting how Jewish thinkers address contemporary challenges of Jewish existence, the volume makes a valuable contribution to the humanities as a whole, especially at a time when the humanities are increasingly under duress for being irrelevant.

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Rusmir Mahmutćehajić

In The Praised and the Virgin, Rusmir Mahmutćehajić provides an extended theologically and philosophically informed meditation on relations between the Muslim and Christian traditions, through the persons of Muhammad (the Praised) and Mary (the Virgin), as complementary bearers of God’s Word. He traces their presence in the extended encounter of the Abrahamic traditions that is Bosnia’s past and present, demonstrating how these traditions inform each other, while simultaneously preserving their difference and uniqueness. He lays fundamental groundwork for a more authentic dialogue, based on identity and difference in history under God, that is also a critique of inhumane ideologies and a modernity that has forsaken God and Man, again as reflected in the historical experiences of the Bosnian people.

Nuggets of Wisdom from Great Jewish Thinkers

From Biblical Times to the Present

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William Gerber

This book offers a copious selection of insights about the world and life, crafted in engaging language by Jewish sages, scholars, rabbis, and literary luminaries, from ancient to modern times. These remarkable explanations, queries, and proposals are connected by expository comments and comparisons by the author. The passionate care for human values which underlies much of Jewish thinking is made accessible in this comprehensive work. In it the reader may find counsel on how to achieve a good and satisfying life while responding to the joys and sorrows that touch us all.

Between Desire and Passion

Teresa de Cartagena

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Yonsoo Kim

Teresa de Cartagena endured confinement as a nun, affliction as a deaf person, and isolation as an outcast, but she was finally able to dedicate herself to writing and to voice her suffering in her Arboleda de los enfermos. Her second treatise, Admiraçión operum Dey, offers a defense against her male detractors and demands recognition by men and her society arguing that women had the intellect to write. To illuminate Teresa's distinctiveness as an author and a woman, the book locates her place in a line of European women intellectuals, and presents an indispensible dialogue among female European authors of the early modern age. By tracing her predecessors’ literary and philosophical achievements, we can appreciate the multifaceted characteristics of Teresa’s writings.

Tradition vs. Traditionalism

Contemporary Perspectives in Jewish Thought

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Avi Sagi

This book is a first attempt to examine the thought of key contemporary Jewish thinkers on the meaning of tradition in the context of two models. The classic model assumes that tradition reflects lack of dynamism and reflectiveness, and the present’s unqualified submission to the past. This view, however, is an image that the modernist ethos has ascribed to the tradition so as to remove it from modern existence. In the alternative model, a living tradition emerges as open and dynamic, developing through an ongoing dialogue between present and past.
The Jewish philosophers discussed in this work—Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Yeshayahu Leibowitz, David Hartman, and Eliezer Goldman—ascribe compelling canonic status to the tradition, and the analysis of their thought discloses the tension between these two models. The book carefully traces the course they have plotted along the various interpretations of tradition through their approach to Scripture and to Halakhah.

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Edited by Mark Bevir and Andrius Gališanka

Wittgenstein and Normative Inquiry examines the relevance of Ludwig Wittgenstein's philosophy for ethics, aesthetics, political philosophy, and religion. It analyzes the intellectual contexts which shaped Wittgenstein's normative thought, traces his influences, and presents contemporary uses of his philosophy in normative fields.

The chapters focus on the nature of normative inquiry. Together, they present a Wittgensteinian approach to normative inquiry, which, while broad and contested, stands in contrast to dominant deductive approaches. Arguing to normative conclusions by showing family resemblances, drawing analogies, using persuasion, appealing to naturalist arguments, authors and Wittgensteinians discussed by them expand our notion of normative inquiry.

Anthropology and Authority

Essays on Søren Kierkegaard

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Edited by Poul Houe, Gordon D. Marino and Sven Hakon Rossel

This volume on anthropology and authority in the writings of Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) offers its reader nineteen timely discussions of two fundamental categories pertaining to the literary, philosophical, and theological production of this prominent 19th century Danish thinker, whose vast influence upon 20th century intellectual life continues to grow as the new millennium approaches.
The volume's nineteen contributors - from Canada, Denmark, Great Britain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, and the United States - inquire into such complex problematics in Kierkegaard's oeuvre as the interrelationship between the human, the divine, and the spiritual; between the secular and the Christian; between human and Christian love; between state and church institutions and the single individual of faith; and between this individual's concern for quality in civic and religious life and the quantitative forces of modern society's masses and crowds. Special attention is given to the indisputable authority of God, Christ, and the apostles as opposed to the debatable authority, or non-authority, of the author. Of particular interest is the nexus between Kierkegaard's existential and religious concerns, on the one hand, and his intricate textual conceptions, multifarious poetic strategies, and various means of pseudonymous and indirect communication, on the other.
Between the covers of Anthropology and Authority some chapters seek to refine received knowledge of Kierkegaard in such disciplines as theology and moral philosophy. Conversely, other chapters submit rather postmodern critiques of the author's stylistic and rhetorical devices. A summary assessment of the nineteen contributions would fail to recognize this considerable methodological and theoretical diversity. Instead, the reader's access to the smorgasbord of insights has been facilitated by an introduction in which one of the American editors briefly outline the individual contributions on a general historical and intellectual background.
Altogether, the probing insights of Anthropology and Authority go to the core of Søren Kierkegaard's authorship. Individual chapters either update previous responses to the many challenges presented by this work, or the chapters face new challenges and/or present critical challenges on their own.

Duty, Language and Exegesis in Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā

Including an edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya’s Tantrarahasya, Śāstraprameyapariccheda

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Elisa Freschi

The book is an introduction to key concepts of Indian Philosophy, seen from the perspective of one of its most influential schools, the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā, which flourished from the 7th until the 20th c. AD. The book includes the critical edition and translation of Rāmānujācārya's Śāstraprameyapariccheda, which is part of his Tantrarahasya (written in South India, after the 14th c.). This text has never been translated before and it is one of the clearest elaboration of the Prābhākara thought.

The book particularly aims at presenting the linguistic, deontic-ethic, hermeneutic and epistemo-logical thought of the Prābhākara Mīmāṃsā. Detailed glossary and indexes make it possible to use the book as a reference-tool for Indian philosophy and linguistics.

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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.

History as the Story of Freedom

Philosophy in Intercultural Context

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Clark Butler

The purpose of this book is to advance responsible rehabilitation of the speculative philosophy of history. It challenges the idea popularized by thinkers such as and Claude Lévi-Strauss and Jean-François Lyotard that historical meta-mythology and meta-narrative are philosophically obsolete. As long as humanity, viewed anthropologically, lives by over-arching narrative, the quest for a version that survives rational criticism remains vital. Here human rights serve as the key to unlock such a version. Despite the fact that the Hegelian philosophy of history has often been derided, something very similar currently functions as the official ideology of the world community: the idea of history as the story of freedom. This book does not retell the world-historical story of freedom. Rather, it uncovers it, beginning with the current age of human rights and working backward through the great role-model civilizations of history. Its conclusion is that a forward retelling of the story of freedom as the story of human rights can be justified by dewesternizing the story. The book contains critical responses from specialized scholars and re-presentative of selected world cultures. The volume includes illustrations, and a guest Afterword by Donald Phillip Verene. It is a companion-volume to the author's Hegel's Logic: Between History and Dialectic (North-western University Press, 1996).