Blau, Joseph Leon

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Blau, Joseph Leon

Joseph Leon Blau (blou) 1909–86, American Jewish scholar and educator, b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Columbia (A.B., 1931; M.A., 1933; Ph.D., 1945). He taught at Columbia from 1944, becoming professor of religion (1962–77). Like his teacher Salo Wittmayer Baron, he stressed the effect of cross-cultural influences on Judaism's development in number of books, among them The Story of Jewish Philosophy (1962), The Jews of the United States, 1790–1840 (ed. with S. W. Baron, 1963), and Judaism in America (1976). His Christian Interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance (1944) examined this process at work in the opposite direction. Also a student of John Dewey, Blau published a number of studies in American philosophy, including Men and Movements in American Philosophy (1952).

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