A History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy, Volume 1: by Eliezer Schweid

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By Eliezer Schweid

A finished, interdisciplinary account of the key thinkers and routine in smooth Jewish inspiration, within the context of basic philosophy and Jewish social-political historic advancements. quantity 1 (of five) covers the interval from Spinoza in the course of 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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All these topics call for scientific research and systematic philosophical analysis, which will uncover the human truth that had covered itself with the mantle of revelation. It would be possible to study this process in a logical order, were it not the case that these different stages all mixed together. The secular state threw off the yoke of the Church; the authority of the legal order passed completely into the domain of the state, while the sanction of moral authority passed to public opinion.

Monotheism was not foreign to it. On the contrary, it had been a latent potentiality of pagan culture, and it was possible to bring it out into the open through critical self-reflection. When we consider philosophy afresh in the light of this insight, we discover how much truth there is in it. Philosophy developed in parallel to prophetic monotheism through a process of intellectual purification, and thus arrived in its own way at a henotheistic conception of God’s unity. The two great schools of Greek philosophy—those of Plato and Aristotle—arrived at the idea of the unity of the world, and with it the idea of the unity of the divine intellect as the supreme formal cause of that world.

Philosophy developed in parallel to prophetic monotheism through a process of intellectual purification, and thus arrived in its own way at a henotheistic conception of God’s unity. The two great schools of Greek philosophy—those of Plato and Aristotle—arrived at the idea of the unity of the world, and with it the idea of the unity of the divine intellect as the supreme formal cause of that world. To be sure, the road that led from idolatry to the idea of God’s unity and uniqueness in prophetic monotheism was not the same road that led from pagan pantheism to philosophic henotheism.

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