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Nietzsche, Soloveitchik, and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy


  • Date Published: August 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107109032

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • What does one do as a Jewish philosopher if one is convinced by much of the Nietzschean critique of religion? Is there a contemporary Jewish philosophical theology that can convince in a post-metaphysical age? The argument of this book is that Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik (1903–1993) - the leading twentieth-century exponent of Modern Orthodoxy - presents an interpretation of halakhic Judaism, grounded in traditional sources, that brings a life-affirming Nietzschean sensibility to the religious life. Soloveitchik develops a form of Judaism replete with key Nietzschean ideas, which parries Nietzsche's critique by partially absorbing it. This original study of Soloveitchik's philosophy highlights his unique contribution to Jewish thought for students and scholars in Jewish studies, while also revealing his wider significance for those working more broadly in fields such as philosophy and religious studies.

    • Shows how key themes in Nietzsche's philosophy have been incorporated into modern Jewish thought
    • Proposes an original context through which to better understand the thought of Joseph Soloveitchik
    • Offers accessible summaries of central themes in Nietzsche's thought
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Daniel Rynhold and Michael J. Harris's new book, Nietzsche, Soloveitchik, and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy, is a thoughtful, meticulously researched attempt to do what seems on its surface to be impossible: to reconcile the thought of one of Judaism's most notorious and vociferous critics with that of one of its most thoughtful and eloquent advocates.' Benjamin Ricciardi, Reading Religion

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107109032
    • length: 326 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on knowledge and truth: why we know so much
    2. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on morality: why we are so good
    3. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on asceticism and the passions: why we are so life-affirming
    4. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on law and creativity: why we are so law-biding
    5. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on repentance: why we are so sorry
    6. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on suffering: why we are so profound
    7. Nietzsche and Soloveitchik on elitism: why we are the best.

  • Authors

    Daniel Rynhold, Yeshiva University, New York
    Daniel Rynhold is Professor of Jewish Philosophy at the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, Yeshiva University, New York. He has published on various topics in Jewish philosophy, including the problem of evil, Nietzsche and Jewish philosophy, and the thought of Moses Maimonides and Joseph Soloveitchik. He has been published in journals including Harvard Theological Review and Religious Studies, and is the author of Two Models of Jewish Philosophy: Justifying One's Practices (2005), An Introduction to Medieval Jewish Philosophy (2009), and co-editor of Radical Responsibility: Celebrating the Thought of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (2012).

    Michael J. Harris, University of Cambridge
    Michael J. Harris is Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, Research Fellow at The London School of Jewish Studies, and Rabbi of The Hampstead Synagogue, London. He is the author of Divine Command Ethics: Jewish and Christian Perspectives (2003) and Faith Without Fear: Unresolved Issues in Modern Orthodoxy (2016). He co-edited Radical Responsibility: Celebrating the Thought of Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks (2012) and has published at the interface of philosophy and Jewish thought in journals including the Harvard Theological Review, Religious Studies and The Torah U-Madda Journal.

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