By Dr Kenneth Seeskin PH.D.
Essentially written, traditionally subtle, Jewish Philosophy in an earthly Age provides a operating discussion among a rationalist realizing of faith and its many critics, starting from Descartes and Hume to Kierkegaard, Buber, and Fackenheim. the writer confronts such classical difficulties as divine attributes, construction, revelation, suspension of the moral, ethics and secular philosophy, the matter of evil, and the significance of the Holocaust. On each one factor, the writer units the phrases of the controversy and works towards a optimistic solution.
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Extra info for Jewish philosophy in a secular age
Introduction 1 2. The Positive Contribution of Negative Theology 31 3. Miracles and Creation 71 4. Revelation 99 5. Suspending the Ethical 119 6. Does Secular Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake? 145 7. Job and the Problem of Evil 169 8. Fackenheim's Dilemma 189 9. Universality and Particularity 213 Bibliography 227 Index 241 Page ix Preface This book has two objectives: to get secular philosophers to pay more attention to Jewish philosophy and to get Jewish philosophers to pay more attention to secular philosophy.
A second suggestion is that if Jewish philosophy is not simply philosophy written by Jews, it is philosophy written to themphilosophy which presupposes Jewish training or is directed to readers who are self-consciously Jewish in their outlook. But here, too, there is a problem with universality. There is no such thing as a philosophical truth accessible to a single religious community. This was as true in the Middle Ages as it is now. 1). It follows that if love of God culminates in an intellectual apprehension of divine perfection, in principle there is no reason such apprehension should be limited to Jews or any other community.
It stands to those activities as an ideal democracy stands to the give and take of a working parliament. It is a version of Judaism which does not ignore the original sources but attempts to strip away elements of myth, superstition, or historical particularity. So while the task of the book is theory construction, the goals of interpretation and critique are never far from view. It is an interpretation because it reformulates material in a philosophically perspicuous way, a critique because it leaves out what reason finds impossible to accept.