Jewish Philosophy and Western Culture: A Modern Introduction (Introductions to Religion)

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9781845112813: Jewish Philosophy and Western Culture: A Modern Introduction (Introductions to Religion)
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This is one of the first textbooks to try to set the entire discipline of Jewish philosophy in its proper cultural and historical contexts. In so doing, it introduces the vibrant Jewish philosophical tradition to students while also making a significant contribution to inter-religious dialogue. Victor J Seidler argues that the dominant Platonic tradition in the West has led to a form of cultural ethics which asserts false superiority in its relationships with others. He offers a critical reappraisal of the philosophical underpinnings of this western Christian culture which for so long has viewed Judaism with hostility. Examining the work of seminal Jewish thinkers such as Philo, Buber, Mendelsohn, Herman Cohen, Leo Baeck, Levinas, Rosenzweig and others, the author argues for a code of ethics which prioritises particular and personal moral responsibility rather than the impersonal and universal emphases of the Greek tradition. His provocative and original overview of Jewish philosophy uncovers a vital and neglected tradition of thought which works against the likelihood of a Holocaust recurring.

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About the Author:

Victor J Seidler is Professor of Social Theory and Philosophy at Goldsmiths College in the University of London. His several books include Shadows of the Shoah: Jewish Identity and Belonging (2000), Man Enough: Embodying Masculinities (1997) and Unreasonable Men: Masculinity and Social Theory (1993).

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Jewish Philosophy and Western Culture makes a spirited and highly readable plea for ""Jerusalem"" over ""Athens"" – that is, for recovering the moral and spiritual virtues of ancient Judaism within an English and Western intellectual culture that still has a preference for Enlightenment rationalism. Victor Seidler revisits the major Jewish philosophers of the last century as invaluable sources of wisdom for Western philosophers and social theorists in the new century. He calls upon the latter to reclaim body and heart as being inseparable from ‘mind’”'- Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia

'More than just an introduction to contemporary Jewish philosophy, this important book offers a critique of the embedded assumptions of contemporary post-Christian Western culture. By focusing on the suppressed or denied heritage of Jewish and Islamic philosophy that helped shape Western society, it offers possibilities for recovering broader dimensions beyond a narrow rationalism and materialism. For those impatient with recent one-dimensional dismissals of religion, and surprised by their popularity, it offers a timely reminder of the sources of these views in the Enlightenment, but also the wider humane dimensions of the religious quest that still need to be considered. By recognising the contribution of gender and post-colonial studies it reminds us that philosophy, ""the love of wisdom"", is still concerned with the whole human being and the complexity of personal and social relationships.'

- Jonathan Magonet, formerly Principal of Leo Baeck College, London, and Vice-President of the Movement for Reform Judaism

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Book Description I.B.Tauris Co. Ltd., United Kingdom, 2008. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is one of the first textbooks to try to set the entire discipline of Jewish philosophy in its proper cultural and historical contexts. In so doing, it introduces the vibrant Jewish philosophical tradition to students while also making a significant contribution to inter-religious dialogue. Victor J Seidler argues that the dominant Platonic tradition in the West has led to a form of cultural ethics which asserts false superiority in its relationships with others. He offers a critical reappraisal of the philosophical underpinnings of this western Christian culture which for so long has viewed Judaism with hostility. Examining the work of seminal Jewish thinkers such as Philo, Buber, Mendelsohn, Herman Cohen, Leo Baeck, Levinas, Rosenzweig and others, the author argues for a code of ethics which prioritises particular and personal moral responsibility rather than the impersonal and universal emphases of the Greek tradition. His provocative and original overview of Jewish philosophy uncovers a vital and neglected tradition of thought which works against the likelihood of a Holocaust recurring. Seller Inventory # AA79781845112813

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