Toward a Jewish (M)orality: Speaking of a Postmodern Jewish Ethics

By S. Daniel Breslauer | Go to book overview

for the existence of God. He also affirms the allusive character of language suggested by John Wisdom. Buber calls for "prayer," that is, the use of religious language as an expression of the event of faith. The argument made here agrees with that call. On one level God functions within Western civilization as the presupposition of modern science. On another level God's function remains obscure and subconscious. Few realize their affective acceptance of the limits of human knowledge, the need for transcendent values, and the authority of tradition. Using the word "God" as an allusive cry, as a prayer expressing an implicit commitment, depends first on a self-conscious recognition of all that word entails. An explicit theology affirming the meaning of God's function in modern life establishes the base from which to ascend to a more complete functioning of the divine. This study suggests the dimensions of such an explicit theology.


NOTES
1.
Umberto Eco, Six Walks in the Fictional Woods ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994), 115-16.
2.
See the critique, directed specifically against Jewish proclamations of belief, by Sherwin T. Wine, Humanistic Judaism ( Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1978); see particularly 5-6.
3.
See Bernd Magnon, Nietzsche's Existential Imperative ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978), 11-12, 137-39.
4.
Paul Tillich, Dynamics of Faith ( New York: Harper & Row, 1957), 10-11, 16-18.
5.
Ibid., 124-25.
6.
See H. Richard Niebuhr, Radical Monotheism and Western Culture: With Supplementary Essays, 11-37, 100-26.
7.
Ibid., 118.
8.
Ibid., 120-21.
9.
Jacques Derrida, The Gift of Death, David Wills, tr. ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), 57.
10.
Moses Maimonides, The Guide to the Perplexed, Shlomo Pines, tr. ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1963), 79-85.
11.
Ibid., 514-22.
12.
Mordecai M. Kaplan, Not So Random Thoughts ( New York: Reconstructionist Press, 1966), 151.
13.
See Basil Mitchell "Theology and Falsification," in New Essays in Philosophical Theology, Anthony Flew and Alasdair Macintyre, eds. ( New York: Macmillan, 1966), 103-4.
14.
See John Wisdom, Paradox and Discovery ( New York: Philosophical Library, 1965), "The Logic of God,"1-22; "Religious Belief,"43-56.
15.
Harry Austryn Wolfson, "Notes on Proofs of the Existence of God in Jewish Philosophy," in Studies in the History of Philosophy and Religion 1, Isadore Twersky and George H. Williams, eds. ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 561-82.

-113-

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