By Eliezer Schweid
A finished, interdisciplinary account of the key thinkers and activities in glossy Jewish inspiration, within the context of basic philosophy and Jewish social-political historic advancements. quantity 1 (of five) covers the interval from Spinoza during the Enlightenment.
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Additional resources for A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy, Volume 1: The Period of the Enlightenment (Supplements to The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume 14)
Monotheism rejected absolutely the worship of the forces of nature as divine, but it adopted, by way of adaptation, portions of the ritual of the nature gods together with pantheistic elements that retained a measure of vitality. Because of that positive relationship to the culture that human beings created (by the command of their God), prophetic monotheism did not deny the validity of the reason of man who was created in the image of his Creator. On the contrary, humankind is commanded to contemplate the wonders of nature as an expression of the divine wisdom that was revealed in creation.
The whole tension between religion and philosophy is focused in these assumptions. They appear as two different styles of thought: a credulous way of thinking that is based on the authority of external, dogmatic proclamation; and a rational way of thinking, that is based on scientific, systematic experience and on intellectual reflection. However, it is clear that in order to preserve the two-sided unity of the Torah, religion must recognize reason as an independent source of knowing the truth, and reason must recognize revelation as an independent source for also knowing the truth.
The result will be worthy of a double appellation: philosophical religion, which strives to know the truth as the highest perfection of humanity—and religious philosophy, which confirms and strengthens the faith in revelation and everything that follows from it as proper means for attaining human perfection. As we indicated, the distinction between philosophy of religion and religious philosophy was not drawn in the Middle Ages in these terms, but in terms of the distinction between the ways of the Kalamic philosophers7 and the Aristotelians.
A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy, Volume 1: The Period of the Enlightenment (Supplements to The Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy, Volume 14) by Eliezer Schweid