No Religion Without Idolatry: Mendelssohn's Jewish Enlightenment

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Product Details
Price
$46.00
Publisher
University of Notre Dame Press
Publish Date
Pages
344
Dimensions
6.0 X 9.1 X 1.0 inches | 1.14 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780268028909

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About the Author

Gideon Freudenthal is professor at the Cohn Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Ideas, Tel-Aviv University.

Reviews

"This is an innovative study of the views of the 'father' of modern Jewish philosophy, Moses Mendelssohn. It emphasizes correctly that Mendelssohn's philosophy of Judaism was thoroughly rational in the Enlightenment's sense of the notion of rationality, and concentrated not on metaphysical arguments and disputations about matters of faith but, rather, on the role and significance of religious practices. . . . As a result, this is a valuable, provocative, unconventional interpretation of Mendelssohn that is sure to stir scholarly debate" --Choice


"Freudenthal's book introduces us to a Mendelssohn who is a serious, consistent, and careful philosopher, an independent thinker whose true philosophical position has gone underappreciated for too long. . . . We are indebted to Freudenthal's book for challenging us to rethink Mendelssohn's philosophical project and thereby to rethink the relevance Enlightenment philosophers may still have today." --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews


"Freudenthal's book is highly to be recommended. Its scholarship is impressive, the writing lucid and engaging. It represents an important and original contribution to our understanding of Mendelssohn, complementing the work of Altmann, Allan Arkush, and others." --H-Judaic


"Freudenthal expands the notion of idolatry beyond its common restriction to false objects of devotion and renders it a heuristic principle to examine not only Judaism but all religions as semiotic systems." --Theological Studies


"In all, Freudenthal's book is highly to be recommended. Its scholarship is impressive, the writing lucid and engaging. It represents an important and original contribution to our understanding of Mendelssohn, complementing the work of Altmann, Allan Arkush, and others." --H-Net


"This book offers a thorough and robust defense of Moses Mendelssohn's (1729-86) philosophical and religious project. Freudenthal's familiarity not only with Mendelssohn's philosophical, but also with his theological works--including scriptural commentaries in Hebrew--allow him to offer a more complete and consistent view of Mendelssohn's project." --The Review of Metaphysics


"In this lucid and provocative study, Gideon Freudenthal offers an original and compelling reading of Mendelssohn as well as a defense of the possibility of religious rationalism more generally. This book is not only an excellent contribution to a growing body of scholarship on Mendelssohn and early modern philosophy, but it also significantly sharpens and advances contemporary conversations about the relations between religion and reason." --Leora Batnitzky, Princeton University


"In this masterful study, Gideon Freudenthal demonstrates how Mendelssohn's philosophy, including his philosophy of religion, is grounded in semiotics. The result is a landmark work that not only successfully challenges standard interpretations of Mendelssohn's 'enlightened Judaism' and its alleged inconsistency but also effectively invites reconsideration of the very possibility of 'religion without idolatry.'" --Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Boston University


"In focusing on Mendelssohn's 'semiotics of idolatry, ' Gideon Freudenthal writes as a philosopher fully at home in multiple traditions: contemporary philosophy, eighteenth-century philosophy, Jewish biblical exegesis, and comparative religion. The result is a systematic and penetrating study, based on the Hebrew as well as the German texts, that engages Mendelssohn on perhaps the most critical issue of his understanding of religion with unprecedented philosophical rigor and imagination." --David Sorkin, City University of New York Graduate Center