In his latest book, Dr. David Shatz, professor of philosophy at Stern College for Women, fuses Jewish philosophy with the methods and literature of analytic philosophy—a manifestation of Torah Umadda. Jewish Thought And Dialogue: Essays on Thinkers, Theologies and Moral Theories (Academic Studies Press) is a collection of 15 of Shatz’s essays on Jewish philosophy dating back to 1990—works that Shatz has revisited.

“I enjoyed seeing the variety of things I had written on and it was good to get my head into the topics again,” said Shatz. He has authored, edited or co-edited 13 books and written more than 60 articles and reviews dealing with both general and Jewish philosophy.

Some of the essays interpret texts and thinkers, while others wrestle with central problems in theology and ethics. Included in the volume are chapters on Maimonides’ Moral Theory, science and religious consciousness in the thought of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Judaism and neuroscience, altruism, autonomy and how philosophy relates to religious belief.

In his introduction, Shatz, who is also the editor of Torah u-Madda Journal, explained that the essays will show that he has grappled with Orthodox thought and its confrontation with the modern world and espouses the view that traditional Jewish self-understanding can be deepened by engaging outside culture.

In his endorsement of the book, Josef Stern, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago, said Shatz’s essays show us how “the analytic tools of Anglo-Jewish philosophy can clarify and critically articulate the conceptual foundations of Judaism and how halachic and philosophical texts and discussions in the rabbinic tradition can enrich our understanding of classical philosophical problems.”

 

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