The Election of Israel: The Idea of the Chosen People

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  • Edition: Revised
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-11-05
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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In this book, David Novak conducts an historical, philosophical and theological reflection on the central Jewish doctrine of Israel's election by God, also known as the idea of the chosen people. Historically, he analyses the great change in modern Jewish thought brought about by Spinoza's inversion of the doctrine: that it was not God who elected Israel, but Israel who elected God. The development of that inversion is illustrated by the thought of the German philosopher-theologian, Hermann Cohen. Philosophically, Novak explores the ontological implications of the two differing theologies of election. Theologically, he argues for the correlation of election and revelation, and maintains that a theology of election is required in order to deal with two central questions, namely: who are the Jews, and how are Jews to be related to the world? The constructive picture which results leads to a fresh understanding of Jewish modernity.

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations
Spinoza and his challenge
Hermann Cohens concept of election
Franz Rosenzweigs return to the doctrine
The retrieval of the biblical doctrine
The rabbinic development of the doctrine
Two medieval views of election
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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