The Philosophy of the Bible as Foundation of Jewish Culture: Philosophy of Biblical Narrative

The Philosophy of the Bible as Foundation of Jewish Culture: Philosophy of Biblical Narrative

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Eliezer Schweid
Translated by Leonard Levin

Series: Reference Library of Jewish Intellectual History
ISBN: 9781934843000 (hardcover) / 9781934843512 (paper)
Pages: 224 pp. 
Publication Date: January 2009

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Eliezer Schweid is professor emeritus of Jewish thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has published forty books in general and specific areas of Jewish thought of all periods, and has commented frequently on the relevance of the legacy of Jewish thought to contemporary issues of Jewish and universal human concern. He is the recipient of the distinguished Israel Prize and two honorary doctorates.

Leonard Levin teaches Jewish philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York.

Table of Contents

Schweid’s Crossroads and our Own
The Uses of “Culture” 
The Bible and Culture—Word of God and Word of Man
Divine Action Frames Human Action

Introduction. Modern Jewish Culture’s Relation to the Bible: Creative Mediating Interpretation
Jewish Scholarship as a Factor in Jewish Modernization
Spinoza’s and Mendelssohn’s Contributions to the Modern Approach to the Bible
Vicissitudes of Jewish Culture in the Modern and Post-Modern Eras
There Is No Substitute for Long-Term Cultural Memory
What Makes the Bible Unique?
Towards a Contemporary Plain-Sense Interpretation /Is the Bible One Book? 

Philosophy of the Biblical Narrative
Is There Philosophy in the Bible? 
Prophecy: Speaking and Hearing, Seeing, Fear and Knowledge
Faith and its Basis in the Revelation of the Power of Divine Creativity that Governs Nature
A Dialogue of Sights and Seeings, Utterances and Hearings
Creation, Making, Bringing Forth, Saying, Seeing and Knowing in the Creation Narrative
Is There Science in the Bible? 
Human Destiny According to the Creation Narrative
The Dimension of Time: Transition from the Coming-into-Being of the World to Historical Time
Crossroads of Human History: From Covenantal Morality to Idolatrous Mores
Vision and Fulfillment: Pattern of a Second Beginning
Canaan and Israel
Personal Development of the Patriarchs, and Development of the People
toward the Fulfillment of their Destiny
From Sin to Destiny: Stories of Abram/Abraham and Sarai/Sarah
“They Shall Keep the Way of the Lord, by Doing What Is Just and Right” (Genesis 18:19) 
“True Kindness”
From the Laughter of Happiness to Fear and Trembling
The Perfect World of the Dream versus the Contradictions of Waking Reality
Punishment of False Justice, and Resourcefulness Converting Injustice to Kindness
The Consciousness of Chosenness for Mission, and the Problem of Unity and Integration in the Family of Nations
Descent for the Sake of Ascent — the Way to Exile and Slavery
The Crossroads of Israel’s History and the Descent into Egypt
Simeon and Levi
Raising History to the Plane of Myth
Moses’ Preparation for His Destiny: From Observer-Seer to Pastor-Overseer
Fear and Lovingkindness in the Crisis of Dedication to Mission: The Idea of Sanctification
The Justice Implanted in Creation Returns to Its Foundation