Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Image of the Non-Jew in JudaismA Historical and Constructive Study of the Noahide Laws$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Novak

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764074

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764074.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Moses Mendelssohn and his School

Moses Mendelssohn and his School

Chapter:
(p.206) Chapter Thirteen Moses Mendelssohn and his School
Source:
Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism
Author(s):

David Novak

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906764074.003.0014

This chapter illustrates how Moses Mendelssohn, the first truly modern Jewish philosopher, tendered a philosophically rich interpretation of the Noahide laws, one at great variance with the interpretations that preceded it. In Jerusalem, Mendelssohn held that the Noahide laws were not part of revelation, and were universally intelligible through human reason. In fact, revelation is inferior to reason because the latter is immediately and publicly available to all and the former is a snapshot in time, restricted, non-universal. Consequently, Noahide law, which is universal, is greater than revealed law. Mendelssohn is not calling for the removal of Judaism, and in fact holds that Judaism is the most rational of the revealed religions. Nonetheless, Judaism remains a component in a universal religion of reason. Mendelssohn's reversal of the traditional understanding of the respective roles of Noahide and Mosaic law was revolutionary.

Keywords:   Moses Mendelssohn, Jewish philosopher, Noahide laws, revelation, human reason, revealed law, Judaism, revealed religions, Mosaic law

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.