The Dual Truth: Studies on Nineteenth-Century Modern Religious Thought and Its Influence on Twentieth-Century Jewish Philosophy, Volumes I & II

The Dual Truth: Studies on Nineteenth-Century Modern Religious Thought and Its Influence on Twentieth-Century Jewish Philosophy, Volumes I & II

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Ephraim Chamiel

Series: Studies in Orthodox Judaism
ISBN: 9781618118820 (2 hardcovers shrink wrapped)
Pages: Volume I: 270 pp.
Volume II: 326 pp.
Publication Date: January 2019

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This book explores three schools of fascinating, talented, and gifted scholars whose philosophies assimilated the Jewish and secular cultures of their respective homelands: they include halakhists from Rabbi Ettlinger to Rabbi Eliezer Berkowitz; Jewish philosophers from Isaac Bernays to Yeshayau Leibowitz; and biblical commentators such as Samuel David Luzzatto and Rabbi Umberto Cassuto.

Running like a thread through their philosophies is the attempt to reconcile the Jewish belief in revelation with Western culture, Western philosophy, and the conclusions of scientific research. Among these attempts is Luzzatto’s “dual truth” approach.

The Dual Truth is the sequel to the Ephraim Chamiel’s previous book The Middle Way, which focused on the challenges faced by members of the “Middle Trend” in nineteenth-century Jewish thought.


Dr. Ephraim Chamiel has filled various managerial positions at Israeli Bank Leumi. Upon his early retirement, he completed his Doctorate in Jewish Thought at Hebrew University, teaching there for a number of years. He is currently continuing his research in modern Jewish thought.


Chamiel’s lucid, learned, and wide-ranging book will further cement his reputation as one of the leading scholars of modern Jewish religious thought. Chamiel never hesitates to criticize the thinkers he examines, but always does so in a fair and balanced way. Of particular interest is Chamiel’s advocacy of a dual truth theory, according to which philosophy and science, purified of its errors, and revelation, purified of its fundamentalism, are each a complete truth: in the world of man, they contradict each other and cannot be unified. Even those who cannot accept this bold claim will find much enlightenment in this rich and stimulating work.
— Lawrence Kaplan, Professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Philosophy, Department of Jewish Studies, McGill University
With commanding erudition, Ephraim Chamiel brings into conversation modern Jewish thinkers, Orthodox and post-traditional, who were determined not to yield to the seemingly intractable aporia of revealed truths inscribed in the Torah and the anthropocentric claims of science. The Dual Truth is monumental in scope and in the depth of its analysis.
— Paul Mendes-Flohr, Professor Emeritus, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Table of Contents

Volume I

Translator’s Note
Foreword to the English Edition

Introduction

Chapter One:
Samson Raphael Hirsch: The Neo-Orthodox, Neo-Romantic Educator, and his Approach of Neo-Fundamentalist Identicality

Chapter Two:
Interpretations of Hirsch’s Thought from the Right and the Left

Chapter Three:
“Heavenly Reward”—Samuel David Luzzatto’s Doctrine of Divine Providence—between Revelation and Philosophy

Chapter Four:
Development of Halakhah: Luzzatto’s Evolving Views

Chapter Five:
The Peshat is One, Because the Truth is One: Luzzatto between Interpretation and Thought

Chapter Six:
Luzzatto and Maimonides: “Accept Truth from Whoever Speaks It”

Chapter Seven:
Luzzatto on Theosophical Kabbalah: Harmful Invention with Worthy Intentions

Chapter Eight:
Between Reason and Revelation: The Encounter between Rabbi Tsvi Hirsch Chajes and Nahman Krochmal

Volume II

Chapter Nine:
Hirsch’s Influence on Religious Jewish Philosophy in the Twentieth Century

Chapter Ten:
Hirsch’s Influence on Rabbi David Tsvi Hoffmann’s Commentary on the Pentateuch

Chapter Eleven:
Hirsch’s Influence on Twentieth-Century Halakhic Decisors

Chapter Twelve:
The Influence of German Neo-Orthodoxy on the Young Rav Kook

Chapter Thirteen:
Luzzatto’s Influence on Umberto Cassuto’s Method of Biblical Interpretation

Chapter Fourteen:
Tolerance, Pluralism, and Postmodernism—A Dialectic of Opposites in Jewish Thought in the Modern Era