Autonomy and Judaism

The Individual and Community in Jewish Philosophical Thought

Edited by Daniel H. Frank

Subjects: Judaica
Series: SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791412107, 229 pages, October 1992
Hardcover : 9780791412091, 229 pages, October 1992

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Table of contents



Part One: Fundamentals and First Principles

Autonomy and Community
Eugene B. Borowitz

Autonomy and Jewish Thought
Kenneth Seeskin

Tradition, Heritage, and Autonomy in Modern Jewish Thought
Ze'ev Levy

Part Two: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives

The Individual and the Community in the Normative Traditions of Judaism
Lenn E. Goodman

The Elimination of Perplexity: Socrates and Maimonides as Guide of the Perplexed
Daniel H. Frank

Autonomy, Community, Authority: Hermann Cohen, Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss
Martin D. Yaffe

A Jewish Context for the Social Ethics of Marx and Levinas
Robert Gibbs

Individual and Communal Forgiveness
Elliot N. Dorff


Subject Index

Name Index


This volume brings together leading philosophers of Judaism on the issue of autonomy in the Jewish tradition. Addressing themselves to the relationship of the individual Jew to the Jewish community and to the world at large, some selections are systematic in scope, while others are more historically focused. The authors address issues ranging from the earliest expressions of individual human fulfillment in the Bible and medieval Jewish discussions of the human good to modern discussions of the necessity for the Jew to maintain both a Jewish sensibility as well as an active engagement in the modern pluralistic state. Contributors include Eugene Borowitz, Elliot N. Dorff, Daniel H. Frank, Robert Gibbs, Lenn E. Goodman, Ze'ev Levy, Kenneth Seeskin, and Martin D. Yaffe.

Daniel H. Frank is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky.


"The book demonstrates the liveliness of modern Jewish philosophy, as well as its continuing engagement with a wide range of philosophical schools and methods: Kantian and neo-Kantian, Aristotelian and Maimonidean, Marx, Gadamer, and of course a wide range of biblical and classical rabbinic texts. The work is rich, suggestive and, on the whole, quite accessible. " — Louis E. Newman, Carleton College