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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.
This book explores three schools of fascinating, talented, and gifted scholars who absorbed into their thought the Jewish and secular cultures of their respective homelands. They include halakhists such as Rabbi Ettlinger and Rabbi Eliezer Berkowitz; Jewish philosophers from Isaac Bernays to Yeshayau Leibowitz; and biblical commentators such as Samuel David Luzzatto and Rabbi Umberto Cassuto. Running like a thread through the analysis of the different scholars, is the attempt to conciliate Jewish orthodoxy with a wish to connect with Western culture and philosophy and to accept the conclusions of scientific research. Among these attempts is Luzzatto's famous `dual truth' approach. This book is the sequel to the Ephraim Chamiel's previous book The Middle Way, which focused on the challenges faced by the members of the "Middle Trend" in nineteenth-century Jewish thought.
This book in two volumes is devoted to examining the first encounter between traditional Judaism and modern European culture, and the first thinkers who sought to combine the Torah with science, revelation with reason, prophecy with philosophy, Jewish ethics with European culture, worldliness with sanctity, and universalism with the particular redemption of the Jews. These religious thinkers of the nineteenth century struggled with challenges of the modern age that continue to confront the modern Jews to this day. This objective work of scholarship, neither simplistic and isolationist nor destructive and arrogant, will be of interest to the modern thinker and to scholars of the history of religions. It is relevant to comparative study between Judaism and the various denominations of Christianity and other faiths that seek to find a middle way between their traditions and modernity.
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