Past Imperatives : Studies in the History and Theory of Jewish Ethics

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Explores central questions in the history and theory of Jewish ethics, namely, the relationship between ethics and law, the relationship between ethics and theology, and the problems and prospects for constructing a contemporary Jewish ethic.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
By exploring these issues within the larger context of historical and theoretical work in religious studies, Past Imperatives moves beyond previous work in Jewish ethics, which has largely sought to offer moral guidance from a Jewish perspective. This volume boldly confronts the fact that Judaism encompasses many, sometimes contradictory, ethical perspectives and investigates their theological underpinnings, how they have developed, and how they differ from other moral and/or religious perspectives.
Explores the nature and development of Jewish ethics by analyzing the relationships between Jewish law and ethics and between Jewish ethics and theology, and the problems and prospects of constructing a contemporary Jewish ethic. The ten essays, written for various audiences over the past decade, consider such topics as Jewish biomedical ethics, covenant theology, and textual interpretation in Judaism. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791438688
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: SUNY series in Jewish Philosophy Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 283
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Louis E. Newman is Professor of Religion and Director of the Judaic Studies Program at Carleton College. He is coeditor of Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality.

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Table of Contents




Part I. Ethics and Law

1. Law, Virtue, and Supererogation in the Halakha: The Problem of Lifnim Mishurat Hadin Reconsidered
2. Ethics as Law, Law as Religion: Reflections on the Problem of Law and Ethics in Judaism
3. Covenant and Contract: A Framework for the Analysis of Jewish Ethics

Part II. Ethics and Theology

4. The Quality of Mercy: On the Duty to Forgive in the Judaic Tradition
5. Jewish Theology and Bioethics
6. Nature and Torah, Creation and Revelation: On the Possibility of a Natural Law in Judaism
7. Religious Faith, Historical Relativism, and the Prospects for Modern Jewish Ethics

Part III. Methodological Issues in Contemporary Jewish Ethics

8. Woodchoppers and Respirators: The Problem of Interpretation in Contemporary Jewish Ethics
9. Text and Tradition in Contemporary Jewish Bioethics
10. Talking Ethics with Strangers: A View from Jewish Tradition

Conclusion. New Directions in the Study of the Ethics of Judaism




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