Studies in Religious Philosophy and Mysticism

By Alexander Altmann

© 1969 – Routledge

332 pages

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Hardback: 9780415822718
pub: 2013-04-11
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About the Book

The twelve studies here are arranged in three distinct groups – Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic philosophy, Jewish mysticism, and modern philosophy. One theme that appears in various forms and from different angles in the first two sections is that of ‘Images of the Divine’. It figures not only in the account of mystical imagery but also in the discussion of the ‘Know thyself’ motif, and is closely allied to the subject-matter of the studies dealing with man’s ascent to the vision of God and his ultimate felicity.

In the third section three thinkers are discussed: the English Deist, William Wollaston, who is shown to be steeped in the medieval Jewish traditions of philosophy and mysticism; Moses Mendelssohn, the philosopher of eighteenth-century Enlightenment, whose thesis asserting Spinoza’s influence on Leibniz’s doctrine of the pre-established Harmony is investigated critically; and Franz Rosenzweig, the most brilliant religious philosopher in twentieth-century Jewry, whose notion of History is analysed.

Originally published in 1969, this is an important work of Jewish philosophy.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Delphic Maxim in Medieval Islam and Judaism 2. "The Ladder of Ascension” 3. Ibn Bājja on Man’s Ultimate Felicity 4. Essence and Existence in Maimonides 5. A Note on the Rabbinic Doctrine of Creation 6. Saadya’s Theory of Revelation: It’s Origin and Background 7. Eleazar of Worms’ Symbol of the Merkabah 8. The Motif of the "Shells" in Azriel of Gerona 9. Moses Narboni’s "Epistle on Shi ur Qomā" 10. William Wollaston: English Deist and Rabbinic Scholar 11. Moses Mendelssohn on Leibniz and Spinoza 12. Franz Rosenzweig on History

About the Author

Alexander Altmann was formerly rabbi of the Berlin Jewish Community then communal rabbi of Manchester, where he founded and directed the Institute of Jewish Studies, now part of University College London. He moved to Brandeis University in Massachusetts as the Philip W. Lown Professor of Jewish Philosophy and History of Ideas in 1959 and was a leading Mendelssohn scholar.

About the Series

Routledge Library Editions: Philosophy of Religion

Reissuing seminal works originally published between 1901 and 1991, Routledge Library Editions: Philosophy of Religion offers a selection of outstanding scholarship covering many aspects of philosophical enquiry into belief and faith. Topics include the history of atheism, natural religion, Christian ethics and the human soul. Some books look specifically at philosophers such as Hobbes, Plato, Kant, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard and Pascal. From classic works by Edward Westermarck, John Laird and G.D. Hicks to more recent investigations, this set contains important works by the likes of D.Z. Phillips, Frederick Ferré and A.C. Ewing making it an essential collection of these previously out-of-print works in a key subject.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PHI000000
PHILOSOPHY / General
PHI022000
PHILOSOPHY / Religious
REL051000
RELIGION / Philosophy