The Dialectical Position in Contemporary Jewish Thought from Rav Kook to Rav Shagar
Author: Ephraim Chamiel
Publisher: Academic Studies PRess
The present book is a sequel to Ephraim Chamiel’s two previous works The Middle Way and The Dual Truth—studies dedicated to the “middle” trend in modern Jewish thought, that is, those positions that sought to combine tradition and modernity, and offered a variety of approaches for contending with the tension between science and revelation and between reason and religion. The present book explores contemporary Jewish thinkers who have adopted one of these integrated approaches—namely the dialectical approach. Some of these thinkers maintain that the aforementioned tension—the rift within human consciousness between intellect and emotion, mind and heart—can be mended. Others, however, think that the dialectic between the two poles of this tension is inherently irresolvable, a view reminiscent of the medieval “dual truth” approach. Some thinkers are unclear on this point, and those who study them debate whether or not they successfully resolved the tension and offered a means of reconciliation. The author also offers his views on these debates. This book explores the dialectical approaches of Rav Kook, Rav Soloveitchik, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Samuel Hugo Bergman, Leo Strauss, Ernst Simon, Emil Fackenheim, Rabbi Mordechai Breuer, his uncle Isaac Breuer, Tamar Ross, Rabbi Shagar, Moshe Meir, Micah Goodman and Elchanan Shilo. It also discusses the interpretations of these thinkers offered by scholars such as Michael Rosenak, Avinoam Rosenak, Eliezer Schweid, Aviezer Ravitzky, Avi Sagi, Binyamin Ish-Shalom, Ehud Luz, Dov Schwartz, Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Lawrence Kaplan, and Haim Rechnitzer. The author questions some of these approaches and offers ideas of his own. This study concludes that many scholars bore witness to the dialectical tension between reason and revelation; only some believed that a solution was possible. That being said, and despite the paradoxical nature of the dual truth approach (which maintains that two contradictory truths exist and we must live with both of them in this world until a utopian future or the advent of the Messiah), increasing numbers of thinkers today are accepting it. In doing so, they are eschewing delusional and apologetic views such as the identicality and compartmental approaches that maintain that tensions and contradictions are unacceptable.
The Position against Contradiction between Reason and Revelation in Contemporary Jewish Thought from Eliezer Goldman to Jonathan Sacks
Author: Ephraim Chamiel
Publisher: Academic Studies PRess
This book is dedicated to an analysis of the writings of modern religious Jewish thinkers who adopted a neo-fundamentalist, illusionary, apologetic approach, opposing the notion that there may sometimes be a contradiction between reason and revelation. The book deals with the thought of Eliezer Goldman, Norman Lamm, David Hartman, Aharon Lichtenstein, Jonathan Sacks, and Michael Abraham. According to these thinkers, it is possible to resolve all of the difficulties that arise from the encounter between religion and science, between reason and revelation, between the morality of halakhah and Western morality, between academic scholarship and tradition, and between scientific discoveries and statements found in the Torah. This position runs counter to the stance of other Jewish thinkers who espouse a different, more daring approach. According to the latter view, irresolvable contradictions between reason and faith sometimes face the modern Jewish believer, who must reconcile himself to these two conflicting truths and learn to live with them. This dialectic position was discussed in Between Religion and Reason, Part I (Academic Studies Press, 2020). The present volume, Part II, completes the discussion of this topic. This book concludes a trilogy of works by the author dealing with modern Jewish thought that attempts to integrate tradition and modernity. The first in the series was The Middle Way (Academic Studies Press, 2014), followed by The Dual Truth (Academic Studies Press, 2018).
Immanuel Kant's Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason is a seminal text in modern philosophy, ethics, and the philosophy of religion. It is a complex and challenging work, which students and scholars often find difficult to penetrate. This Reader's Guide provides a 'way in' to the text including: philosophical and historical context; an overview of key themes; section-by-section analysis of the text; a chapter on its reception and influence as a classic text of the Enlightenment; and a guide for further reading. It highlights the most important themes and ideas, clarifies certain opaque features, and examines the junctures in the text that are critical for any philosophical assessment of Kant's argument. Eddis N. Miller offers a sound understanding of Kant's Religion and the tools for students to philosophically assess Kant's overall argument.
Palmquist’s Commentary provides the first definitive clarification on Kant’s Philosophy of Religion in English; it includes the full text of Pluhar’s translation, interspersed with explanations, providing both a detailed overview and an original interpretation of Kant’s work. Offers definitive, sentence-level commentary on Kant’s Religion within the Bounds of Bare Reason Presents a thoroughly revised version of Pluhar’s translation of the full text of Kant’s Religion, including detailed notes comparing the translation with the others still in use today Identifies most of the several hundred changes Kant made to the second (1794) edition and unearths evidence that many major changes were responses to criticisms of the first edition Provides both a detailed overview and original interpretation of Kant’s work on the philosophy of religion Demonstrates that Kant’s arguments in Religion are not only cogent, but have clear and profound practical applications to the way religion is actually practiced in the world today Includes a glossary aimed at justifying new translations of key technical terms in Religion, many of which have previously neglected religious and theological implications
Combines philosophical investigations concerning the truth of religious convictions with empirical research on the origins and functions of religious beliefs. This book focuses on two core questions: (1) How probable is it that any particular god exists? (2) How should we account for the occurrence of religious beliefs in human societies?
Expanding on his 1976 study of the bearing of Christian faith on the practice of scholarship, Wolterstorff has added a substantial new section on the role of faith in the decisions scholars make about their choice of subject matter.
From a variety of perspectives, the essays presented here explore the profound interdependence of natural philosophy and rational religion in the `long seventeenth century' that begins with the burning of Bruno in 1600 and ends with the Enlightenment in the early Eighteenth century. From the writings of Grotius on natural law and natural religion, and the speculative, libertin novels of Cyrano de Bergerac, to the better-known works of Descartes, Malebranche, Cudworth, Leibniz, Boyle, Spinoza, Newton, and Locke, an increasing emphasis was placed on the rational relationship between religious doctrine, natural law, and a personal divine providence. While evidence for this intrinsic relationship was to be located in different places - in the ideas already present in the mind, in the observations and experiments of the natural philosophers, and even in the history, present experience, and prophesied future of mankind - the result enabled and shaped the broader intellectual and scientific discourses of the Enlightenment.
This edited volume examines the realizations between theological considerations and natural law theorizing, from Plato to Spinoza. Theological considerations have long had a pronounced role in Catholic natural law theories, but have not been as thoroughly examined from a wider perspective. The contributors to this volume take a more inclusive view of the relation between conceptions of natural law and theistic claims and principles. They do not jointly defend one particular thematic claim, but articulate diverse ways in which natural law has both been understood and related to theistic claims. In addition to exploring Plato and the Stoics, the volume also looks at medieval Jewish thought, the thought of Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham, and the ways in which Spinoza's thought includes resonances of earlier views and intimations of later developments. Taken as a whole, these essays enlarge the scope of the discussion of natural law through study of how the naturalness of natural law has often been related to theses about the divine. The latter are often crucial elements of natural law theorizing, having an integral role in accounting for the metaethical status and ethical bindingness of natural law. At the same time, the question of the relation between natural law and God-and the relation between natural law and divine command-has been addressed in a multiplicity of ways by key figures throughout the history of natural law theorizing, and these essays accord them the explanatory significance they deserve.