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Jewish Theology and World Religions$
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Alon Goshen-Gottstein and Eugene Korn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764098

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764098.001.0001

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Pluralism out of the Sources of Judaism

Pluralism out of the Sources of Judaism

The Quest for Religious Pluralism without Relativism

Chapter:
(p.87) Three Pluralism out of the Sources of Judaism
Source:
Jewish Theology and World Religions
Author(s):

Raphael Jospe

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781906764098.003.0004

This chapter argues for the legitimacy of Jewish religious pluralism, citing precedents and conceptions that arise indigenously ‘out of sources of Judaism’. As for the Christian challenge of equating pluralism with relativism, it constructs a paradigm of religious pluralism that avoids moral relativism, while at the same time avoiding the kind of extreme epistemological relativism of radical deconstructionism. As for Jewish precedents, there is ample evidence for both internal and external pluralism in the sources. In his comments on Genesis 33:20 and Exodus 6:9, Rashi cites this verse to justify diverse, internal pluralistic interpretations. Rabbi Yishma'el interpreted this verse as alluding to both internal and external pluralism. Such pluralism, even if it entails a degree of moderate epistemic relativism, does not imply a strong relativistic conception of multiple truths, but of multiple perspectives on the truth, or what the rabbis called the ‘seventy facets of the Torah’.

Keywords:   Jewish religious pluralism, Judaism, relativism, religious pluralism, Rashi, Rabbi Yishma'el, multiple truths, Torah

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