Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Review: Philosophies of Judaism: The History of Jewish Philosophy from Biblical Times to Franz Rosenzweig
Philosophies of Judaism: The History of Jewish Philosophy from Biblical Times to Franz Rosenzweig by Julius Guttmann
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Guttmann offers a fascinating introduction to the development of Jewish philosophical thought. He begins with the making of the Hebrew Bible, pointing out the philosophical ideals underlying its composition, such as the demythologization of the pagan folklore of the Middle East. Following this, Guttmann explores the first exchanges between Jewish and Hellenistic thought and the development of Jewish religious philosophy within the context of Greek philosophy, especially Neoplatonism, and the development of the Talmud. Guttmann then moves on to the rise of Islam and the Middle Ages, discussing the mutual influences of the three great Aristotelian systems of the Medieval world: Islam, Christian Scholasticism, and Judaism. Finally, Guttmann moves on to and ends with a discussion of modern Judaism thought, from Spinoza to the rise of existentialism and its influence in Jewish religious philosophy.
For any lover of the love of wisdom (philosophy), there is not a page in this book that is worth missing. I recommend this book to those interested in philosophy, especially in its historical development, and those interested in Judaism and its history.
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