PHILOSOPHIES OF JUDAISM by Julius Guttmann

PHILOSOPHIES OF JUDAISM

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The first translation of a highly sensitive and suggestive study; it embraces the original German edition, published in the early '30's, and the much-later expanded ebrew one. The author, a philosopher-professor influenced by Kant and Husserl as well as traditional Rabbinical teaching, investigates, as he sees it, the twin interlocking premises of all Jewish thought. On the one hand, Judaism is a sui generis religious phenomenon, a datum above and beyond all man-made manipulations, something that always there before Jewish philosophers begin to philosophize about it. On the other hand, historically speaking, Jewish philosophy, unlike Greco-Roman or European philosophy, has been successively pluralistic in its intellectual derivations, absorbing and adapting the changing methodology from one era to another, while at the same time remaining true to its essential Jewish experience: the personalist character of the ible, the moral order underlying the Torah, and the communal and ""chosen"" role of the people. The author's special concern appears to be the Middle Ages- The Kalam, eoplatonism, Aristotelianism; such thinkers as Judah Halevi, Maimonides and Spinozand out of its considerable complexities he develops a thoroughly cogent, ground-learing exploration, among the best we've encountered. The rationalist concepts of and Cohen, and the poles-apart existential ones of Rosenzweig, bring the work to a close, and with a bang not a whimper. (One regret: the absence of commentary on Buber, Will Herberg, and Toynbee's idea of the Diaspora, all of which were vogue before the author's death in 1950).

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 1963
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston