The Principles of Judaism

ISBN : 9780198843252

Samuel Lebens
352 ページ
153 x 234 mm
Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology

In this book, Samuel Lebens takes the three principles of Jewish faith, as they were proposed in the fifteenth century by Rabbi Joseph Albo, and seeks to scrutinise and refine them with the tool-kit of contemporary analytic philosophy. What could it mean for a perfect being to create a world out of nothing? Could such a world be anything more than a figment of God's imagination? What is the Torah, and what must a person believe before it would make sense to treat it as Orthodox Judaism does? What does Judaism expect from a Messiah, and what would it mean for a world to be redeemed? These questions are explored in conversation with a wide array of Jewish sources - the Bible, Philo, the Rabbis of the Mishna and Talmud, the medieval rationalists and mystics, the Hassidim, and more, with an eye towards diverse fields of contemporary research, such as cosmology, logic, the ontology of literature, and the metaphysics of time. The Principles of Judaism articulates the most fundamental axioms of Orthodox Judaism in the vernacular of contemporary philosophy.


1 Introduction Avoiding a Paradoxical Preface
Part I - Creation
2 Creatio Ex Nihilo
3 Idealism Ex Nihilo
4 Hassidic Idealism Responding to Problems
5 Hassidic Idealism Some Hidden Benefits
Part II - Revelation
6 What is the Torah? The Internal Problem with Revelation
7 Ongoing Revelation and the External Problems with Revelation
Part III - Redemption
8 Redeeming the Past
9 Conclusions: Frumkeit, Faith, and Make-Belief
10 Afterword Demystifying Jewish Mysticism


Samuel Lebens is Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Haifa. His research interests focus on the history of early analytic philosophy, the philosophy of language, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. Having received his PhD from Birkbeck College, London, Lebens held post-docs at the University of Notre Dame, and Rutgers University before taking up his current position at the University of Haifa. Lebens is also an ordained Orthodox Rabbi and the chairperson and co-founder of the Association for the Philosophy of Judaism. His publications include Jewish Philosophy in an Analytic Age (co-edited with Dani Rabinowitz and and Aaron Segal; 2019) and Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (2017).