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06 May 2004 @ 07:50 pm
Fascinating Statement  

“Judaism is but the name by which a holy community—a people—passed into the modern world. Judaism is not a religion; the Jewish people has a religion.” —Arthur A. Cohen, The Myth of the Judeo-Christian Tradition, Harper & Row, New York, 1970, p. 57.

I'm pretty sure I don't fully understand that statement yet, but I think it makes for something interesting to chew on. The entire book is no less difficult, but, I think, ultimately rewarding. For example:

“What differentiates eschatology from the philosophy of history (distinguished justifiably from the metaphysics of history), what permits it to share more in common with metaphysical speculation than with traditional rational and empirical philosophy, is that eschatology seeks not only the external form and observable causality of history but also its internal spririt.” —page 7.

There are times I really wish I were smart…

Cross-posted: weirdjews and fredcritter.

Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Current Music: The Acoustic Folk Box (4 CD) (Disc 4)
Daniel B. Holzman-Tweedholzman on May 6th, 2004 08:16 pm (UTC)
OK, I've gotta get that book. I've been ranting about the myth of Judeo-Christian tradition for years... though I was less charitable and called it a lie.
Fred A Levy Haskell: eyes of Geri's Fredfredcritter on May 7th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)
Getting the book....
Okay. Another one you might want to try is: Jews and Christians: The Myth of a Common Tradition by Jacob Neusner, which is what "referred" me to the one cited (which is out of print but it looks like there are still some available used).

I've not actually finished reading either of them, and neither is particularly easy reading, but so far each resonates with me in a way that makes me believe it's making some sort of sense.
ask mevorona on May 6th, 2004 10:02 pm (UTC)
The first paragraph makes perfect sense to me. It's very clear. The second one is a little ornate for reading so late. I know it's not really late, but I'm tired. The first one's brilliant, though - that's how I see it. (thus it must be brilliant, right?)
Fred A Levy Haskell: Geri's Fredfredcritter on May 7th, 2004 03:27 am (UTC)
Yup. If that's how you see it, it must be brilliant. QED


It's not quite that it doesn't make sense to me, it's just that … hmmmmmm …

I mean, so far everything in the book has resonated with me in a way that causes me to believe in its truth — in the accuracy of the statements and analyses. It's just that when I stop and try to "get my mind around it" it slips away. You know, "Please restate that in your own words, Mr. Levy Haskell." Um. Er. I can't. I feel it, but I don't rightly understand it yet…
Carol Kennedycakmpls on May 7th, 2004 05:02 am (UTC)
That sounds like the way that I almost always feel when editing philosophy!

The books sound good. Pass on more tidbits in LJ if you feel so inclined.