donderdag 13 juli 2017

Moses Mendelssohn

Saul Jay Singer heeft vandaag in zijn serie columns inzake "Collecting Jewish History" in The Jewish Press een gedegen en sympathiek verhaal over Moses Mendelssohn (1729 – 1826).
Daaruit hier één alinea:
As opposed to Spinoza, who bitterly criticized Judaism as religious behaviorism that idolizes external action at the expense of inner devotion and who became famous for his rejection of Jewish law, Mendelssohn praised Judaism for being a revealed law rather than a revealed religion. He maintained that whereas a Jew is free to adopt the philosophical approach of his choice – spiritual, rationalist, chassidic, kabbalistic, etc. – his actions must always be consistent with Jewish law – freedom in doctrine but strict conformity in action. Thus, for example, he translated the opening words of Maimonides’s famous Thirteen Principles of Faith as “I am firmly convinced” rather than the traditional “I believe . . .”

Hierbij wijs ik meteen op een al jaren lopende reeks Spinoza Conversations op de site Wilmington For Christ. In die reeks lees je blogtitels als "Lessings Spinozism" en "Mendelssohn and Refined Pantheism." Goed geïnformeerde auteur die uiteraard wel z'n voorkeuren heeft - interessant om eens in te grasduinen.
Als illustratie nam ik de cover van Elias Sacks, Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script. Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism. Indiana University Press, 30-11-2016
Blurb: Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) is often described as the founder of modern Jewish thought and as a leading philosopher of the late Enlightenment. One of Mendelssohn's main concerns was how to conceive of the relationship between Judaism, philosophy, and the civic life of a modern state. Elias Sacks explores Mendelssohn's landmark account of Jewish practice—Judaism's "living script," to use his famous phrase—to present a broader reading of Mendelssohn's writings and extend inquiry into conversations about modernity and religion. By studying Mendelssohn's thought in these dimensions, Sacks suggests that he shows a deep concern with history. Sacks affords a view of a foundational moment in Jewish modernity and forwards new ways of thinking about ritual practice, the development of traditions, and the role of religion in society. [ Cf. Review NDPR]

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