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Beyond Reasonable Doubt$
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Louis Jacobs

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774587

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774587.001.0001

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Secular Judaism

Secular Judaism

(p.174) Eight Secular Judaism
Beyond Reasonable Doubt

Louis Jacobs

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the notion of a secular Judaism, in which some of the religious practices such as bar mitzvah and circumcision were still maintained, and even occasional visits to the synagogue, but seen in terms of only emotional satisfaction. It analyzes the possibility of religion without belief in God. In ancient times Theravadic Buddhism taught that the God idea was irrelevant to its aim of overcoming human suffering. The chapter mentions Auguste Comte in the early nineteenth century who founded the religion of Positivism, the religion of humanity and the full harmony of life, with its Bible and sacraments and a religious calendar, but with mankind in the place of God. It also talks about Julian Huxley that propagated a “religion without revelation” in which man can express his sense of awe and wonder without invoking a personal God.

Keywords:   secular Judaism, bar mitzvah, circumcision, synagogue, Theravadic Buddhism, Auguste Comte, Julian Huxley, personal God

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