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, probably an important, complete anthology on hand on twentieth century Jewish idea. This impressive quantity offers one hundred forty concise but authoritative essays by means of well known Jewish figures Eugene Borowitz, Emil Fackenheim, Blu Greenberg, Susannah Heschel, Jacob Neusner, Gershom Scholem, Adin Steinsaltz, etc. They outline and replicate upon such primary principles as charity, selected humans, dying, relations, love, fable, anguish, Torah, culture and extra. With entries from Aesthetics to Zionism, this ebook offers awesome insights into either the Jewish event and the Judeo-Christian culture.

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The theological significance of these passages lies, as it were, in the gesture behind them-whether it be ideological or an attempt to represent God as a familiar presence-rather than in their literal or figurative meaning. Even so, there are other rabbinic aggadot that cannot be explained this way, aggadot that seem to preserve mythological conceptions from much earlier periods of Israelite religion or that give birth to myth anew out of genuine religious needs the rabbis themselves experienced.

New Essays in Philosophical Theology (1955). Fritz Mauthner, Der Atheismus und-seine Geschichte im Abendlande, 4 vols. (19201923). Richard Robinson, An Atheist's Values (1964). Authority Stephen Wald T he question of religious authority divides into two parts: first, Who possesses religious authority? and second, What is the source of its power to obligate? Maimonides, in his Mishneh Torah, answers unambiguously that the rabbinic High Court in the Temple in Jerusalem possesses the ultimate religious authority in Judaism: The High Court in Jerusalem is the root of the Oral Law and the pillars of instruction and from them law and judgment go out to all Israel, and in them the Torah trusted saying: "According to the Torah which they will instruct you"-this is a positive commandment; and everyone who accepts Moses our Master and his Torah is obligated to determine religious acts in accordance with them and to rely upon them.

The rabbis responded with a parable: It is comparable to a king of flesh and blood who entered a city. His servants said to him: Impose decrees upon them. He said to them: No! When they accept my kingship, I will impose decrees upon them, for if they will not accept my kingship, how should they accept my decrees? (Mekh. Yitro 6). First the fact must be established that there is a king. Only afterward will his decrees be binding. This recognition of God's authority to impose decrees on his subjects is called by the rabbis accepting the kingdom of heaven.

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