Nietzsche, Soloveitchik and Contemporary Jewish Philosophy

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Daniel Rynhold, Michael J. Harris
  • Cambridge, England: 
    Cambridge University Press
    , June
     288 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Benjamin Riccardi forthcoming.


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.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

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 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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