April 25, 1995
This essay explores several themes of biblical exegesis in Benedict de Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise. The essay aims to show that Spinoza's critique of the Bible's teachings on spirit, prophecy and miracles has its point of departure in the Bible's own internal critique of these teachings. In passing, the essay sheds light on the Bible's teachings regarding the exodus and the miracle at Joshua 10. It is proposed that Galileo's teachings played a vital role in Spinoza's framing of his ideas. The essay attempts to follow Spinoza as he readies the Bible for its admission into the modern city, while not discounting Spinoza's exegetical motivation in writing his Treatise.
October 2, 1989 | Morton Frisch
Jewish political philosophy appeared rather late in Judaism, but on its appearance became very much a part of medieval political philosophy. Medieval political philosophy, however, has a questionable status within the field of political philosophy, partly because of its belief that the highest political teaching is contained in revelation or divine law and partly because most medieval texts are seen either as little more than commentaries on Aristotelian texts or as attempts to reconcile philosophy with theology. The reality of revelation was the decisive presupposition of the medieval philosophers, and that is the reason why medieval political philosophy is so rarely studied today and when studied it seems so alien.
October 2, 1989
Jewish political studies is a neglected but extremely significant dimension of Jewish life that needs to be explored. An understanding of the influence of the Jewish political tradition on Jewish public affairs during the epochs of Jewish national independence and communal self-government can be useful in meeting problems of Jewish public affairs and communal organization. The present exploration of Jewish phenomena from a political science perspective began in the 1950s and has developed significantly in recent decades. That exploration has developed a theoretical framework that looks at the phenomenon of the Jewish polity at any time and in any place. This framework rests upon the assumptions that the Jewish people is a corporate entity by definition, that exploration of the Jewish polity can be undertaken with the tools of political science, and that Jews have continued to function as a polity throughout their history.