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Image of the Non-Jew in JudaismA Historical and Constructive Study of the Noahide Laws$
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David Novak

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764074

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764074.001.0001

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(p.225) Chapter Fifteen Conclusion
Image of the Non-Jew in Judaism

David Novak

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explains why Noahide law is an appropriate starting point for Jewish philosophy today. Most philosophical reflections on Judaism have not only avoided Noahide law as a starting point, but have avoided halakhah in general. This is because of a basic misunderstanding in Jewish philosophy. This misunderstanding is based on the assumption that the systematic structure admitting philosophical analysis is evidently deductive. Since halakhah is not a process where first principles are set down and thereafter specified, it seems to elude philosophical analysis. The chapter then considers how Noahide law functions as a criterion of the possibility of divine revelation to humanity; as a criterion of human potentiality for knowledge of God; as a criterion of the possibility of revelation; and as a criterion of human potentiality in relation to revelation.

Keywords:   Noahide law, Jewish philosophy, Judaism, halakhah, philosophical analysis, divine revelation, human potentiality

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