JPHI 1131: Survey of Jewish Philosophy
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¶Throughout the course of history, people have looked at the world and come away with questions, struggling with various aspects of humanity and faith. Jewish philosophers have examined these questions, revealing in their quest, various understandings of the nature of God and humanity in the world. Each topic in this course will be centered around one of these questions, allowing us to ponder some of the major topics of Jewish philosophy, and encouraging us to notice the range of opinions amongst the philosophers. This course will survey Jewish thinkers from medieval to modern, emphasizing how later philosophers drew on and responded to earlier traditions. During our journey we will explore new ways of looking at texts and ideas and appreciate the role that Jewish philosophy can have in an individual’s intellectual and spiritual development. ¶Topics I. Judaism and the Larger World Is there religious value to philosophical inquiry and exploration of secular topics? II. Faith What are the components of faith? Are each of them necessary for a faithful relationship with God? III. Free Will Does a person have complete autonomy over his/her actions or are there other factors that determine human behavior? IV. Divine Providence What role does God play in the day to day life of humanity? V. Morality How are moral values formed and what role does God play in determining what is and isn’t moral?
Besser, R. (2022). Syllabus: JPHI 1131: Survey of Jewish Philosophy. Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.
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