The present book is a sequel to Ephraim Chamiel's two previous
works The Middle Way and The Dual Truth-studies dedicated to the
"middle" trend in modern Jewish thought, that is, those positions
that sought to combine tradition and modernity, and offered a
variety of approaches for contending with the tension between
science and revelation and between reason and religion. The present
book explores contemporary Jewish thinkers who have adopted one of
these integrated approaches-namely the dialectical approach. Some
of these thinkers maintain that the aforementioned tension-the rift
within human consciousness between intellect and emotion, mind and
heart-can be mended. Others, however, think that the dialectic
between the two poles of this tension is inherently irresolvable, a
view reminiscent of the medieval "dual truth" approach. Some
thinkers are unclear on this point, and those who study them debate
whether or not they successfully resolved the tension and offered a
means of reconciliation. The author also offers his views on these
debates.This book explores the dialectical approaches of Rav Kook,
Rav Soloveitchik, Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, Samuel Hugo
Bergman, Leo Strauss, Ernst Simon, Emil Fackenheim, Rabbi Mordechai
Breuer, his uncle Isaac Breuer, Tamar Ross, Rabbi Shagar, Moshe
Meir, Micah Goodman and Elchanan Shilo. It also discusses the
interpretations of these thinkers offered by scholars such as
Michael Rosenak, Avinoam Rosenak, Eliezer Schweid, Aviezer
Ravitzky, Avi Sagi, Binyamin Ish-Shalom, Ehud Luz, Dov Schwartz,
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow, Lawrence Kaplan, and Haim Rechnitzer. The
author questions some of these approaches and offers ideas of his
own. This study concludes that many scholars bore witness to the
dialectical tension between reason and revelation; only some
believed that a solution was possible. That being said, and despite
the paradoxical nature of the dual truth approach (which maintains
that two contradictory truths exist and we must live with both of
them in this world until a utopian future or the advent of the
Messiah), increasing numbers of thinkers today are accepting it. In
doing so, they are eschewing delusional and apologetic views such
as the identicality and compartmental approaches that maintain that
tensions and contradictions are unacceptable.
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