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By Eliezer Schweid

A finished, interdisciplinary account of the most important thinkers and activities in sleek Jewish proposal, within the context of normal philosophy and Jewish social-political old 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)

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The first presented a conception of a particularistic universalism, identifying and singling out the Israelite people through its religion, based on revelation. The second presented a conception of an all-embracing and amalgamating universalism of philosophy, based in reason. Meanwhile, on the social-national side was born a conflict between an attitude of openness to the outer environment, represented by the elites who aspired to take part in it and contribute to it, and an attitude of isolation, represented by other elites who saw themselves entrusted with the original authority of the religion that divided Israel from the gentiles.

This is especially true in the realm of the natural and earthly life of the people—the economy, society, and state. Therefore, it could also be seen in the realm of religious ritual, which was closely connected with human beings’ involvement with nature for the sake of their survival, and with their social and political organization. Many examples substantiate this. We will content ourselves here with pointing out that the prophets, and even more the priests, did not entirely deny the very existence of the forces of nature, or humanity’s direct dependency on them, and so they did not deny the need to relate to these forces through religious ritual.

On the one hand it posed an intellectual challenge to the claim that the Jewish Torah is based on supernatural revelation. In that respect its opponents (among the Jews) and proponents (among the Christians or Moslems) were able to argue that philosophy, as long as it is faithful to its methodological and intrinsic essence, cannot be Jewish. On the other hand it appeared as a mediating factor, creating a common circle of discourse for adherents of different religions, transcending their religions, enabling them to verify their claims by universal criteria and concepts, and conducting a religious discussion calculated to advance them in understanding themselves, and perhaps also to draw them closer to agreements resting on the basis of all their arguments for universal validity.

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