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Against the Jews and the Gentiles
Books I–IV
Giannozzo Manetti
Harvard University Press, 2017
Giannozzo Manetti (1396–1459) was a celebrated humanist orator, historian, philosopher, and scholar of the early Renaissance. Son of a wealthy Florentine merchant, he participated actively in the public life of the Florentine republic and embraced the new humanist scholarship of the quattrocento, oriented to the service of the state and the reform of religion. Mastering not only classical Latin but also Greek and Hebrew, he gained access to a whole library of sources previously unknown in the Latin West. Among the fruits of his studies is his treatise Against the Jews and the Gentiles, an apologia for Christianity in ten books that redefines religion in terms of “true piety,” and relates the historical development of the pagan and Jewish religions to the life of Jesus. The present volume includes the first critical edition of Books I–IV, together with the first translation of those books into any modern language.
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Crescas’ Critique of Aristotle
Problems of Aristotle’s Physics in Jewish and Arabic Philosophy
Harry Austryn Wolfson
Harvard University Press
Hesdai Crescas was a true representative of the interpretation of the Arabic and Hebrew philosophic traditions. This volume reprints Harry Austryn Wolfson’s now classic study of Crescas’ Or Adonai, a historical and critical investigation of the main problems of Aristotle’s Physics and De Caelo.
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Dynamic Repetition
History and Messianism in Modern Jewish Thought
Gilad Sharvit
Brandeis University Press, 2022
A fine example of the best scholarship that lies at the intersection of philosophy, religion, and history.
 
Dynamic Repetition proposes a new understanding of modern Jewish theories of messianism across the disciplines of history, theology, and philosophy. The book explores how ideals of repetition, return, and the cyclical occasioned a new messianic impulse across an important swath of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century German Jewish thought. To grasp the complexities of Jewish messianism in modernity, the book focuses on diverse notions of “dynamic repetition” in the works of Franz Rosenzweig, Walter Benjamin, Franz Kafka, and Sigmund Freud, and their interrelations with basic trajectories of twentieth-century philosophy and critical thought.
 
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Elevations
The Height of the Good in Rosenzweig and Levinas
Richard A. Cohen
University of Chicago Press, 1994
Elevations is a series of closely related essays on the ground-breaking philosophical and theological work of Emmanuel Levinas and Franz Rosenzweig, two of the twentieth century's most important Jewish philosophers. Focusing on the concept of transcendence, Richard A. Cohen shows that Rosenzweig and Levinas join the wisdom of revealed religions to the work of traditional philosophers to create a philosophy charged with the tasks of ethics and justice. He describes how they articulated a responsible humanism and a new enlightenment which would place moral obligation to the other above all other human concerns. This elevating pull of an ethics that can account for the relation of self and other without reducing either term is the central theme of these essays.

Cohen also explores the ethical philosophy of these two thinkers in relation to Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Buber, Sartre, and Derrida. The result is one of the most wide-ranging and lucid studies yet written on these crucial figures in philosophy and Jewish thought.
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Ethics of Maimonides
Hermann Cohen, Translated by Almut Sh. Bruckstein
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004

    Hermann Cohen’s essay on Maimonides’ ethics is one of the most fundamental texts of twentieth-century Jewish philosophy, correlating Platonic, prophetic, Maimonidean, and Kantian traditions. Almut Sh. Bruckstein provides the first English translation and her own extensive commentary on this landmark 1908 work, which inspired readings of medieval and rabbinic sources by Leo Strauss, Franz Rosenzweig, and Emmanuel Levinas.
    Cohen rejects the notion that we should try to understand texts of the past solely in the context of their own historical era. Subverting the historical order, he interprets the ethical meanings of texts in the light of a future yet to be realized. He commits the entire Jewish tradition to a universal socialism prophetically inspired by ideals of humanity, peace, and universal justice.
    Through her own probing commentary on Cohen’s text, like the margin notes of a medieval treatise, Bruckstein performs the hermeneutical act that lies at the core of Cohen’s argument: she reads Jewish sources from a perspective that recognizes the interpretive act of commentary itself.

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Falaquera’s Epistle of the Debate
An Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
Steven Harvey
Harvard University Press, 1987

Shem-Tov Falaquera (c. 1225–1295) was a student of the writings of Maimonides and a leading expositor of the medieval Islamic and Jewish philosophical traditions. His Epistle of the Debate (Iggeret ha-Vikkuah) is a delightful dialogue between two Jews, one learned in philosophy and the other not, about the permissibility and desirability of philosophical investigation by Jews.

It is perhaps the most important medieval text devoted to the theme of the relationship between reason and religion by a Jewish thinker, and it is an excellent introduction to Jewish philosophy. This volume contains the first critical edition of the Hebrew text of the Epistle of the Debate and an annotated English translation, the first into a modern language. The volume also includes essays on the sources of the Epistle and on Falaquera's position on the relation between reason and religion.

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The Figural Jew
Politics and Identity in Postwar French Thought
Sarah Hammerschlag
University of Chicago Press, 2010

The rootless Jew, wandering disconnected from history, homeland, and nature, was often  the target of early twentieth-century nationalist rhetoric aimed against modern culture. But following World War II, a number of prominent French philosophers recast this maligned figure in positive terms, and in so doing transformed postwar conceptions of politics and identity.

Sarah Hammerschlag explores this figure of the Jew from its prewar usage to its resuscitation by Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Maurice Blanchot, and Jacques Derrida. Sartre and Levinas idealized the Jew’s rootlessness in order to rethink the foundations of political identity. Blanchot and Derrida, in turn, used the figure of the Jew to call into question the very nature of group identification. By chronicling this evolution in thinking, Hammerschlag ultimately reveals how the figural Jew can function as a critical mechanism that exposes the political dangers of mythic allegiance, whether couched in universalizing or particularizing terms.

Both an intellectual history and a philosophical argument, The Figural Jew will set the agenda for all further consideration of Jewish identity, modern Jewish thought, and continental philosophy.

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The Guide of the Perplexed, Volume 1
Moses Maimonides
University of Chicago Press, 1974
This monument of rabbinical exegesis written at the end of the twelfth century has exerted an immense and continuing influence upon Jewish thought. Its aim is to liberate people from the tormenting perplexities arising from their understanding of the Bible according only to its literal meaning. This edition contains extensive introductions by Shlomo Pines and Leo Strauss, a leading authority on Maimonides.
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The Guide of the Perplexed, Volume 2
Moses Maimonides
University of Chicago Press, 1974
This monument of rabbinical exegesis written at the end of the twelfth century has exerted an immense and continuing influence upon Jewish thought. Its aim is to liberate people from the tormenting perplexities arising from their understanding of the Bible according only to its literal meaning. This edition contains extensive introductions by Shlomo Pines and Leo Strauss, a leading authority on Maimonides.
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Hermann Cohen
Writings on Neo-Kantianism and Jewish Philosophy
Edited by Samuel Moyn and Robert Schine
Brandeis University Press, 2021

Hermann Cohen (1842–1918) was among the most accomplished Jewish philosophers of modern times—if not the single most significant. But his work has not yet received the attention it deserves. This newly translated collection of his writings—most of which are appearing in English for the first time—illuminates his achievements for student readers and rectifies lapses in his intellectual reception by prior generations. It presents chapters from Cohen’s Ethics of Pure Will, conflicting interpretations of Cohen by Franz Rosenzweig and Alexander Altmann, and finally the eulogy to Cohen delivered at graveside by Ernst Cassirer. Containing full annotations and selections that concentrate both on the philosophical core of Cohen’s writings and the politics of interpretation of his work at the time of his death and after, Hermann Cohen truly brings to light all of Cohen’s accomplishments.   

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Interpreting Maimonides
Studies in Methodology, Metaphysics, and Moral Philosophy
Marvin Fox
University of Chicago Press, 1990
In this comprehensive study, Marvin Fox offers an approach to Moses Maimonides that illuminates the intersections of his philosophical, religious, and Jewish visions—ideas that have embattled readers of Maimonides since the twelfth century.
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Isaac Israeli
A Neoplatonic Philosopher of the Early Tenth Century
Isaac Israeli
University of Chicago Press, 2009

Recognized as one of the earliest Jewish neo-Platonist writers, Isaac ben Solomon Israeli (ca. 855–955) influenced Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars through the Middle Ages. A native of Egypt who wrote in Arabic, Israeli explored definitions of such terms as imagination, sense-perception, desire, love, creation, and “coming-to-be” in his writings.

This classic volume contains English translations of Israeli’s philosophical writings, including the Book of Definitions, the Book of Substances, and the Book on Spirit and Soul. Additionally, Isaac Israeli features a biographical sketch of the philosopher and extensive notes and comments on the texts, as well as a survey and appraisal of his philosophy. Restored to print for the first time in decades, Isaac Israeli will be essential reading for students and scholars of medieval philosophy and Jewish studies.

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Jewish and Islamic Philosophy
Crosspollinations in the Classic Age
Lenn E. Goodman
Rutgers University Press, 1999

 

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Jewish Philosophical Politics in Germany, 1789–1848
Sven-Erik Rose
Brandeis University Press, 2014
In this book Rose illuminates the extraordinary creativity of Jewish intellectuals as they reevaluated Judaism with the tools of a German philosophical tradition fast emerging as central to modern intellectual life. While previous work emphasizes the “subversive” dimensions of German-Jewish thought or the “inner antisemitism” of the German philosophical tradition, Rose shows convincingly the tremendous resources German philosophy offered contemporary Jews for thinking about the place of Jews in the wider polity. Offering a fundamental reevaluation of seminal figures and key texts, Rose emphasizes the productive encounter between Jewish intellectuals and German philosophy. He brings to light both the complexity and the ambivalence of reflecting on Jewish identity and politics from within a German tradition that invested tremendous faith in the political efficacy of philosophical thought itself.
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Jewish Universalisms
Mendelssohn, Cohen, and Humanity’s Highest Good
Jeremy Fogel
Brandeis University Press, 2023
An original and comprehensive comparison of the universalisms of two major modern Jewish philosophers.
 
Any version of universalism relevant to a more attentive, pluralistic, and postcolonial outlook would balance the urgent current need for a universalistic perspective with the desire to maintain the richness of human diversity. The modern Jewish philosophers who sought to partake in the Enlightenment’s universalistic vision while maintaining their distinct identities as members of a religious minority within Europe offer insightful answers.

Jewish Universalisms analyzes how two major figures, Moses Mendelssohn and Hermann Cohen, dealt with the perceived tension between the universal values characteristic of the Enlightenment and aspects of Judaism often depicted as particularistic and parochial. Jeremy Fogel joins this lively debate in modern Jewish philosophy, offering a comparative examination of these thinkers and analyzing their worldviews from an innovative axiological perspective. Fogel writes that to gain a precise understanding of how Mendelssohn and Cohen argued for the concordance of Judaism and universalism, one must first seek out what they delineated as ultimately valuable. Then one can work out how that highest good, and the method of valuation it sustains, are universal.
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Last Works
Moses Mendelssohn. Translated by Bruce Rosenstock
University of Illinois Press, 2012
Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) was the central figure in the emancipation of European Jewry. His intellect, judgment, and tact won the admiration and friendship of contemporaries as illustrious as Johann Gottfried Herder, Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, and Immanuel Kant. His enormously influential Jerusalem (1783) made the case for religious tolerance, a cause he worked for all his life.
 
Last Works includes, for the first time complete and in a single volume, the English translation of Morning Hours: Lectures on the Existence of God (1785) and To the Friends of Lessing (1786). Bruce Rosenstock has also provided an historical introduction and an extensive philosophical commentary to both texts.
 
At the center of Mendelssohn's last works is his friendship with Lessing. Mendelssohn hoped to show that he, a Torah-observant Jew, and Lessing, Germany's leading dramatist, had forged a life-long friendship that held out the promise of a tolerant and enlightened culture in which religious strife would be a thing of the past.
 
Lessing's death in 1781 was a severe blow to Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn wrote his last two works to commemorate Lessing and to carry on the work to which they had dedicated much of their lives. Morning Hours treats a range of major philosophical topics: the nature of truth, the foundations of human knowledge, the basis of our moral and aesthetic powers of judgment, the reality of the external world, and the grounds for a rational faith in a providential deity. It is also a key text for Mendelssohn's readings of Spinoza. In To the Friends of Lessing, Mendelssohn attempts to unmask the individual whom he believes to be the real enemy of the enlightened state: the Schwärmer, the religious fanatic who rejects reason in favor of belief in suprarational revelation.
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Leo Strauss and the Rediscovery of Maimonides
Kenneth Hart Green
University of Chicago Press, 2013
In Leo Strauss and the Rediscovery of Maimonides, Kenneth Hart Green explores the critical role played by Maimonides in shaping Leo Strauss’s thought. In uncovering the esoteric tradition employed in Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed, Strauss made the radical realization that other ancient and medieval philosophers might be concealing their true thoughts through literary artifice. Maimonides and al-Farabi, he saw, allowed their message to be altered by dogmatic considerations only to the extent required by moral and political imperatives and were in fact avid advocates for enlightenment. Strauss also revealed Maimonides’s potential relevance to contemporary concerns, especially his paradoxical conviction that one must confront the conflict between reason and revelation rather than resolve it.
           
An invaluable companion to Green’s comprehensive collection of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides, this volume shows how Strauss confronted the commonly accepted approaches to the medieval philosopher, resulting in both a new understanding of Maimonides and a new depth and direction for his own thought. It will be welcomed by anyone engaged with the work of either philosopher.
 

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Leo Strauss on Maimonides
The Complete Writings
Leo Strauss
University of Chicago Press, 2013
Leo Strauss is widely recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of Maimonides. His studies of the medieval Jewish philosopher led to his rediscovery of esotericism and deepened his sense that the tension between reason and revelation was central to modern political thought. His writings throughout the twentieth century were chiefly responsible for restoring Maimonides as a philosophical thinker of the first rank. Yet, to appreciate the extent of Strauss’s contribution to the scholarship on Maimonides, one has traditionally had to seek out essays he published separately spanning almost fifty years.
           
With Leo Strauss on Maimonides, Kenneth Hart Green presents for the first time a comprehensive, annotated collection of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides, comprising sixteen essays, three of which appear in English for the first time. Green has also provided careful translations of materials that had originally been quoted in Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, German, and French; written an informative introduction highlighting the original contributions found in each essay; and brought references to out-of-print editions fully up to date. The result will become the standard edition of Strauss’s writings on Maimonides.
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Maimonides after 800 Years
Essays on Maimonides and His Influence
Jay M. Harris
Harvard University Press, 2007

Moses Maimonides was the most significant Jewish thinker, jurist, and doctor of the Middle Ages. Author of both a monumental code of Jewish law and the most influential and controversial work of Jewish philosophy, Maimonides looms larger than any other figure in the Jewish Middle Ages.

The essays in this volume were written to mark the 800th anniversary of Maimonides’s death in 1204. Written by the leading scholars in the field, they cover all aspects of Maimonides’s work and infuence. From his work on Jewish law to his unique understanding of God; from his view of the soul to his understanding of other religions; from his influence on Jewish scholars in the eastern Mediterranean to his impact on the emergence of modern Judaism—the essays in this volume cover all this and more. It is an indispensable collection for all those interested in the history of Judaism over the last 800 years.

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Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed"
A Philosophical Guide
Alfred L. Ivry
University of Chicago Press, 2016
A classic of medieval Jewish philosophy, Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed is as influential as it is difficult and demanding. Not only does the work contain contrary—even contradictory—statements, but Maimonides deliberately wrote in a guarded and dissembling manner in order to convey different meanings to different readers, with the knowledge that many would resist his bold reformulations of God and his relation to mankind. As a result, for all the acclaim the Guide has received, comprehension of it has been unattainable to all but a few in every generation.

Drawing on a lifetime of study, Alfred L. Ivry has written the definitive guide to the Guide—one that makes it comprehensible and exciting to even those relatively unacquainted with Maimonides’ thought, while also offering an original and provocative interpretation that will command the interest of scholars. Ivry offers a chapter-by-chapter exposition of the widely accepted Shlomo Pines translation of the text along with a clear paraphrase that clarifies the key terms and concepts. Corresponding analyses take readers more deeply into the text, exploring the philosophical issues it raises, many dealing with metaphysics in both its ontological and epistemic aspects.
 
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Maimonides' "Guide of the Perplexed" in Translation
A History from the Thirteenth Century to the Twentieth
Edited by Josef Stern, James T. Robinson, and Yonatan Shemesh
University of Chicago Press, 2019
Moses Maimonides’s Guide of the Perplexed is the greatest philosophical text in the history of Jewish thought and a major work of the Middle Ages. For almost all of its history, however, the Guide has been read and commented upon in translation—in Hebrew, Latin, Spanish, French, English, and other modern languages—rather than in its original Judeo-Arabic. This volume is the first to tell the story of the translations and translators of Maimonides’ Guide and its impact in translation on philosophy from the Middle Ages to the present day. 
           
A collection of essays by scholars from a range of disciplines, the book unfolds in two parts. The first traces the history of the translations of the Guide, from medieval to modern renditions. The second surveys its influence in translation on Latin scholastic, early modern, and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, as well as its impact in translation on current scholarship. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book will be essential reading for philosophers, historians, and religious studies scholars alike.
 
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The Matter and Form of Maimonides’ Guide
Josef Stern
Harvard University Press, 2013

Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed has traditionally been read as an attempt to harmonize reason and revelation. Another, more recent interpretation takes the contradiction between philosophy and religion to be irreconcilable, and concludes that the Guide prescribes religion for the masses and philosophy for the elite. Moving beyond these familiar debates, Josef Stern argues that the perplexity addressed in this famously enigmatic work is not the conflict between Athens and Jerusalem but the tension between human matter and form, between the body and the intellect.

Maimonides’ philosophical tradition takes the perfect life to be intellectual: pure, undivided contemplation of all possible truths, from physics and cosmology to metaphysics and God. According to the Guide, this ideal cannot be realized by humans. Their embodied minds cannot achieve scientific knowledge of metaphysics, and their bodily impulses interfere with exclusive contemplation. Closely analyzing the arguments in the Guide and its original use of the parable as a medium of philosophical writing, Stern articulates Maimonides’ skepticism about human knowledge of metaphysics and his heterodox interpretations of scriptural and rabbinic parables. Stern shows how, in order to accommodate the conflicting demands of the intellect and the body, Maimonides creates a repertoire of spiritual exercises, reconceiving the Mosaic commandments as training for the life of the embodied mind. By focusing on the philosophical notions of matter and form, and the interplay between its literary form and subject matter, Stern succeeds in developing a unified, novel interpretation of the Guide.

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Modern French Jewish Thought
Writings on Religion and Politics
Edited by Sarah Hammerschlag
Brandeis University Press, 2018
“Modern Jewish thought” is often defined as a German affair, with interventions from Eastern European, American, and Israeli philosophers. The story of France’s development of its own schools of thought has not been substantially treated outside the French milieu. This anthology of modern French Jewish writing offers the first look at how this significant and diverse body of work developed within the historical and intellectual contexts of France and Europe. Translated into English, these documents speak to two critical axes—the first between Jewish universalism and particularism, and the second between the identification and disidentification of French Jews with France as a nation. Offering key works from Simone Weil, Vladimir Jankélévitch, Emmanuel Levinas, Albert Memmi, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, and many others, this volume is organized in roughly chronological order, to highlight the connections linking religion, politics, and history, as they coalesce around a Judaism that is unique to France.
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Persecution and the Art of Writing
Leo Strauss
University of Chicago Press, 1988
The essays collected in Persecution and the Art of Writing all deal with one problem—the relation between philosophy and politics. Here, Strauss sets forth the thesis that many philosophers, especially political philosophers, have reacted to the threat of persecution by disguising their most controversial and heterodox ideas.
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Philosophical Witnessing
The Holocaust as Presence
Berel Lang
Brandeis University Press, 2012
In this volume, eminent scholar Berel Lang brings the perspective of philosophical analysis to bear on issues related to the Holocaust. Setting out from a conception of philosophical “witnessing” that expands and illuminates the standard view of the witness, he confronts the question of what philosophy can add to the views of the Holocaust provided in other disciplines. Drawing on the philosophical areas of political theory, ethics, aesthetics, and the philosophy of history, he draws attention especially to the post-Holocaust emphasis on the concepts of genocide and “group rights.” Lang’s study, which emphasizes the moral choices that now face post-Holocaust thought, inspires the reader to think of the Holocaust in new ways, showing how its continued presence in contemporary consciousness affects areas of thought and practice not directly associated with that event.
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Reading Leo Strauss
Politics, Philosophy, Judaism
Steven B. Smith
University of Chicago Press, 2006
Interest in Leo Strauss is greater now than at any time since his death, mostly because of the purported link between his thought and the political movement known as neoconservatism. Steven B. Smith, though, surprisingly depicts Strauss not as the high priest of neoconservatism but as a friend of liberal democracy—perhaps the best defender democracy has ever had. Moreover, in Reading Leo Strauss, Smith shows that Strauss’s defense of liberal democracy was closely connected to his skepticism of both the extreme Left and extreme Right.

Smith asserts that this philosophical skepticism defined Strauss’s thought. It was as a skeptic, Smith argues, that Strauss considered the seemingly irreconcilable conflict between reason and revelation—a conflict Strauss dubbed the “theologico-political problem.” Calling this problem “the theme of my investigations,” Strauss asked the same fundamental question throughout his life: what is the relation of the political order to revelation in general and Judaism in particular?  Smith organizes his book with this question, first addressing Strauss’s views on religion and then examining his thought on philosophical and political issues.

In his investigation of these philosophical and political issues, Smith assesses Strauss’s attempt to direct the teaching of political science away from the examination of mass behavior and interest group politics and toward the study of the philosophical principles on which politics are based. With his provocative, lucid essays, Smith goes a long way toward establishing a distinctive form of Straussian liberalism.
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Re-forming Judaism
Moments of Disruption in Jewish Thought
Rabbi Stanley M. Davids and Leah Hochman, PhD
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2023
Throughout Jewish history, revolutionary events and subversive ideas have burst forth, repeatedly transforming Jewish experience. Re-forming Judaism seeks to explore
these ideas—and the individuals behind them—by delving into historical disruptions that led to lasting change in Jewish thought. A distinguished array of scholars take us
on a journey from the disruptive prophets of ancient times, through rational, mystical, and extremist medievalists, to the impact of Haskalah and early Reform thought in
modernity. Contemporary innovations such as changes in liturgy and music, feminism, and post-Holocaust theology are included, as are insights into Sephardic and North
African experiences. By showing how Judaism forms—then re-forms, and re-forms again—the contributors demonstrate that tensions between continuity and change
have always been part of Jewish life, helping us to both understand the past and contemplate the future.
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Repercussions of the Kalam in Jewish Philosophy
Harry Austryn Wolfson
Harvard University Press, 1979

In his monumental Philosophy of the Kalam the late Harry Wolfson—truly the most accomplished historian of philosophy in our century—examined the early medieval system of Islamic philosophy. He studies its repercussions in Jewish thought in this companion book—an indispensable work for all students of Jewish and Islamic traditions.

Wolfson believed that ideas are contagious, but that for beliefs to catch on from one tradition to another the recipients must be predisposed, susceptible. Thus he is concerned here not so much with the influence of Islamic ideas as with Jewish elaboration, adaptation, qualification, and criticism of them. To this end he examines passages reflecting Kalam views by a wide variety of Jewish thinkers, including Isaac Israeli, Judah Halevi, Abraham ibn Ezra, and Maimonides. As always in Wolfson's work, two aspects are apparent: the special dimensions of Jewish thought as well as its relation to other traditions. And as always his prose is both graceful and precise.

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Respecting the Wicked Child
A Philosophy of Secular Jewish Identity and Education
Mitchell Silver
University of Massachusetts Press, 1998
This book provides a philosophical rationale for maintaining a Jewish identity and explains how this can be done without compromising one's liberal or secular values. Mitchell Silver believes that many third- and fourth-generation American Jews have retained only a hazy knowledge of their ethnic traditions and rich history. But as they watch their own children grow up in a materialist, multicultural, Christian-dominated American society, many contemporary Jewish parents are loathe to abandon their distinctive heritage and wish to pass it on to their offspring. Silver begins by situating the possible emergence of a secular American Judaism within the context of attempts to reconcile the imperatives of tradition and modernity. He then proposes specific spiritual, moral, and institutional pathways that could lead to this reconceived form of Judaism. While the book's emphasis is on the possibilities and values of a secular American Jewish identity, Silver also proposes a supplemental school curriculum for children that would lay the groundwork for a viable contemporary Judaism.
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Socrates and the Jews
Hellenism and Hebraism from Moses Mendelssohn to Sigmund Freud
Miriam Leonard
University of Chicago Press, 2012

"What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” Asked by the early Christian Tertullian, the question was vigorously debated in the nineteenth century. While classics dominated the intellectual life of Europe, Christianity still prevailed and conflicts raged between the religious and the secular. Taking on the question of how the glories of the classical world could be reconciled with the Bible, Socrates and the Jews explains how Judaism played a vital role in defining modern philhellenism.

Exploring the tension between Hebraism and Hellenism, Miriam Leonard gracefully probes the philosophical tradition behind the development of classical philology and considers how the conflict became a preoccupation for the leading thinkers of modernity, including Matthew Arnold, Moses Mendelssohn, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. For each, she shows how the contrast between classical and biblical traditions is central to writings about rationalism, political subjectivity, and progress. Illustrating how the encounter between Athens and Jerusalem became a lightning rod for intellectual concerns, this book is a sophisticated addition to the history of ideas.
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Soloveitchik's Children
Irving Greenberg, David Hartman, Jonathan Sacks, and the Future of Jewish Theology in America
Daniel Ross Goodman
University of Alabama Press, 2023

A revealing account of the three main disciples of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, an essential figure in Orthodox Judaism in America

Orthodox Judaism is one of the fastest-growing religious communities in contemporary American life. Anyone who wishes to understand more about Judaism in America will need to consider the tenets and practices of Orthodox Judaism: who its adherents are, what they believe in, what motivates them, and to whom they turn for moral, intellectual, and spiritual guidance.

Among those spiritual leaders none looms larger than Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, heir to the legendary Talmudic dynasty of Brisk and a teacher and ordainer of thousands of rabbis during his time as a Talmud teacher at Yeshiva University from the Second World War until the 1980s. Soloveitchik was not only a Talmudic authority but a scholar of Western philosophy. While many books and articles have been written about Soloveitchik’s legacy and his influence on American Orthodoxy, few have looked carefully at his disciples in Torah and Talmud study, and even fewer at his disciples in Jewish thought and philosophy.

Soloveitchik’s Children: Irving Greenberg, David Hartman, Jonathan Sacks, and the Future of Jewish Theology in America is the first book to study closely three of Soloveitchik’s major disciples in Jewish thought and philosophy: Rabbis Irving (“Yitz”) Greenberg, David Hartman, and Jonathan Sacks. Daniel Ross Goodman narrates how each of these three major modern Jewish thinkers learned from and adapted Soloveitchik’s teachings in their own ways, even while advancing his philosophical and theological legacy.

The story of religious life and Judaism in contemporary America is incomplete without an understanding of how three of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of this generation adapted the teachings of one of the most consequential Jewish thinkers of the previous generation. Soloveitchik’s Children tells this gripping intellectual and religious story in a learned and engaging manner, shining a light on where Jewish religious thought in the United States currently stands—and where it may be heading in future generations.

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Spinoza's Modernity
Mendelssohn, Lessing, and Heine
Willi Goetschel
University of Wisconsin Press, 2004
Spinoza’s Modernity is a major, original work of intellectual history that reassesses the philosophical project of Baruch Spinoza, uncovers his influence on later thinkers, and demonstrates how that crucial influence on Moses Mendelssohn, G. E. Lessing, and Heinrich Heine shaped the development of modern critical thought. Excommunicated by his Jewish community, Spinoza was a controversial figure in his lifetime and for centuries afterward. Willi Goetschel shows how Spinoza’s philosophy was a direct challenge to the theological and metaphysical assumptions of modern European thought. He locates the driving force of this challenge in Spinoza’s Jewishness, which is deeply inscribed in his philosophy and defines the radical nature of his modernity.
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The Star of Redemption
Franz Rosenzweig; Translated by Barbara E. Galli; Foreword by Michael Oppenheim, introduction by Elliot R. Wolfson
University of Wisconsin Press, 2005

    The Star of Redemption is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding religion and philosophy in the twentieth century.  Fusing philosophy and theology, the book assigns both Judaism and Christianity distinct but equally important roles in the spiritual structure of the world. Franz Rosenzweig finds in both biblical religions approaches to a comprehension of reality. 
    The major themes and motifs of The Star—the birth, life, death, and the immortality of the soul;  Eastern philosophies and Jewish mysticism; the relationship between God, world and humanity over time; and revelation as the real biblical miracle of faith and path to redemption—resonate meaningfully.

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Studies in Maimonides
Isadore Twersky
Harvard University Press, 1990

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Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature
Isadore Twersky
Harvard University Press, 2000
This volume contains eleven original studies, ten in English and one in Hebrew, by some of the most established scholars of Judaica and young newcomers as well. Like the studies in the previous two volumes in the series, those in this new volume shed important light on the Jewish cultural experience across a vast geographic expanse, and over many centuries. The studies illuminate the relationship of Jewish social structure and intellectual creativity; the political theories that informed Jewish communal life; different aspects of Jewish philosophical and mystical discourse; Jewish biblical interpretation; and the dynamic of Jewish legal thinking. One study offers a critical edition and annotated translation of one of the classics of Jewish biblical interpretation. The collection will be indispensable to all students of Jewish history and culture.
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Studies in Medieval Jewish History and Literature
Isadore Twersky
Harvard University Press, 1979

front cover of Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy
Leo Strauss
University of Chicago Press, 1983
One of the outstanding thinkers of our time offers in this book his final words to posterity. Studies in Platonic Political Philosophy was well underway at the time of Leo Strauss's death in 1973. Having chosen the title for the book, he selected the most important writings of his later years and arranged them to clarify the issues in political philosophy that occupied his attention throughout his life.

As his choice of title indicates, the heart of Strauss's work is Platonism—a Platonism that is altogether unorthodox and highly controversial. These essays consider, among others, Heidegger, Husserl, Nietzsche, Marx, Moses Maimonides, Machiavelli, and of course Plato himself to test the Platonic understanding of the conflict between philosophy and political society. Strauss argues that an awesome spritual impoverishment has engulfed modernity because of our dimming awareness of that conflict.

Thomas Pangle's Introduction places the work within the context of the entire Straussian corpus and focuses especially on Strauss's late Socratic writings as a key to his mature thought. For those already familiar with Strauss, Pangle's essay will provoke thought and debate; for beginning readers of Strauss, it provides a fine introduction. A complete bibliography of Strauss's writings if included.
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