Religion of Reason: Out of the Sources of Judaism / Edition 2

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Overview

Hermann Cohen's Religion of Reason, Out of the Sources of Judaism (first published in 1919) is widely taken to be the greatest work in Jewish philosophy and religious thought since Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed. It is at once a Jewish book and a philosophical one: Jewish because it takes its material from the literary tradition that extends from the bible to the rabbis to the great medieval philosophers; philosophical because it studies that material in order to construct a worldview that is rational in the broadest sense of the term. This edition reprints a 1972 introduction by Leo Strauss and includes an essay on the work by Steven Schwarzchild. A new introduction by Kenneth R. Seeskin situates Cohen's masterwork in the history of modern philosophical and religious thought.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788501029
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Series: AAR Texts and Translations Series , #7
  • Edition description: English Language
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Table of Contents

The Title of Hermann Cohen's "Religion of Reason out of the Sources of Judaism" 7
How to Read Religion of Reason 21
Religion of Reason 43
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2005

    Notes on Hermann Cohen's Religion of Reason

    In Hermann Cohen's philosophy, religion is not mythology. What differentiates religion from mythology is religion's concern with ethics. Ethics have their grounding in the rational side of human existence and therefore religion is better grounded in reason than mythology is. Polytheism constitutes the viewing of each natural phenomenon as a different God. Monotheism consists of viewing God as being comprised of almost everything in the universe and is therefore closely related to pantheism. However monotheism is not identical with pantheism. Monotheism only posits a unity of God, not a unity of the cosmos. Unity of the cosmos is an as-yet unfulfilled goal of God's. One of God's means for fulfilling this goal lies in the love of human beings for one another. Both God and Man possess spirit, goodness, and holiness but Man does not possess them to the same extent that God does. God is in a state of being and Man is in a state of becoming. Elements that polytheistic religions assign to the realm of chance or fate are assigned to the realm of law and salvation by monotheistic religions. Reconciliation between God and Man is an important element of monotheism. Salvation is liberation from sin and at the same time emancipation from suffering. This constitutes Jewish Messianism. Such Messianism is oriented toward a future golden age where religious socialism shall triumph.

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