20th Century Jewish Religious Thought by Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr

By Arthur A. Cohen, Paul Mendes-Flohr

JPS is proud to reissue Cohen and Mendes-Flohr’s vintage paintings, might be crucial, entire anthology on hand on twentieth century Jewish inspiration. This amazing quantity provides one hundred forty concise but authoritative essays via popular Jewish figures Eugene Borowitz, Emil Fackenheim, Blu Greenberg, Susannah Heschel, Jacob Neusner, Gershom Scholem, Adin Steinsaltz, and so forth. They outline and mirror upon such primary principles as charity, selected humans, demise, kinfolk, love, fable, agony, Torah, culture and extra. With entries from Aesthetics to Zionism, this ebook offers extraordinary insights into either the Jewish event and the Judeo-Christian culture.

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Paul, it is argued, was against Judaism only because he regarded it as an inadequate solution to the human dilemma, which could only be tackled by a radical salvationist doctrine. Judaism, in Paul's view, was too hopeful in thinking that the Torah could guide people into virtuous living. Human evil was too profound for such a pedagogical remedy and required a process of rebirth. The Torah gave a 18 ANTI-JUDAISM AND ANTI-SEMITISM correct program, but one that could not be followed by fallen beings.

A far cry from denying God's existence, this qualification is nonetheless a natural extension of the concept of atheism in the context of the Jewish religion. An atheist, finally, can deny God under one or more descriptions. Thus a deist, for example, would be an atheist under descriptions specific to Christianity or Judaism, but not necessarily in every sense. Spinoza was certainly both a kofer be'ikkar and a kofer ba-Torah in the sense of Maimonides, yet he surely possessed his own notion of God.

This last question is of special significance in view of certain arguments that have been put forward to defend traditional Christian teaching from the charge of being anti-Semitic. In almost all forms of anti-Semitism, Judaism also is the subject of adverse comment, although it is not always made clear whether the Jews are considered evil because they have an evil religion or vice versa. In Apion's anti-Semitic scheme, as reported by Josephus, the Jews were originally a band of outcast lepers who, on being ejected from Egypt, concocted a misanthropic religion; here, clearly, the despicable status of the Jews as a people is primary, the defects of their religion secondary.

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