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RS 110 - MODULE 4.docx

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Religious Studies
RS 110
Peter Frick

RS 110 - MODULE 4 The Modern Period − 1789 - 1989 − French Revolution at the start − Fall of the Berlin wall at the end The Enlightenment − Another name for the modern period − Shaped western thought and philosophy o Intellectual impact is on all of the Western world − Immanuel Kant o Most powerfully formulated enlightenment principle o Enlightenment is a person's conquering of the self-inflicted state of rational immaturity  An unenlightened person is not intellectually autonomous  Rational immaturity is inability to use ones own reason without guidance of another due to a lack of boldness/courage o Encouraged others to have the courage to use their own mind − Cannot return to unenlightened state o People use their own minds to interpret religion o All that we do now - scientific, intellectual, religions etc pursuits were changed due to this − Autonomy vs heteronomy - your own law vs the law of others Modern Jewish Leaders Baruch Spinoza − 1632 - 1677 − Forerunner of good Enlightenment thought − Influenced by Maimonides and Rene Descartes − 1656 - Excommunicated from his home Synagogue o His views were 'too enlightened' for the average Jewish individual − Major work was Theologicus-Political Treatise (1670) o Scientific attitude of scrutiny towards the Tanach o Is the worldview in the Tanach an enlightened world view? o Criticized the authority of the Hebrew Bible o To a great extent, when you criticize the worldview of the bible, tradition conflicts with enlightenment − Also wrote Ethics o Theology/Metaphysics of pantheism rather than monotheism o Denied the transcendence of God o God exists in everything, and we are part of everything − Deterministic world view o Our will is not free; actions are made necessary by the structure of the universe Moses Mendelsohn − 1729 - 1786 − The Father of Reform within Judaism o Forerunner of Reform Judaism − Responsible for bringing Jewish community into modern world o Very well-educated and excelled in all subjects o Friend of Gotthold Lessing, German philosopher − Fervent defender and supporter of Jewish enlightenment and emancipation o Wanted the Jewish people to be liberated from those things that were no longer valid − Believed it is possible to be Jewish but also German o Can have best of Jewish world but also education and German culture − Wrote Jerusalem o Jews should assimilated into the countries they live in, including languages The Idea of Zionism − Those that argued for Jewish assimilation into European culture were only one side of the coin o Zionism - The renewed idea of a Jewish State − Zion o Mountain outside Jerusalem o Where the Messiah would come − Zionism is longing of Jewish people to return to homeland of Israel o God made covenant with Abraham that his descendants would have the promised land − Rejection/anti-jewish sentiment in Diaspora increased this longing − Negative response to enlightenment increased Zionism o Believed if they assimilated into European cultures they would lose their languages, faith, traditions − Ex. Jews of Berlin (1802 - 1812) o After a decade, 1/3rd of all Jews in Berlin rejected their heritage o Traditions and faith were 'intellectually and culturally restrictive' Moses Hess − 1812 - 1875 − Gave notion of Zionism a concrete shape − Socialist - so important he influenced Karl Marx − Wrote Rome and Jerusalem in 1862 o Jews need their own geographical space o Need to leave the places they live due to the dispersal and come to one geographical space o Idea of new, socialist Jewish community - kibbutz o Kibbutz are socialist communities where all work/live/share together o We should present an example to the world of living together communally o Demonstration of ideal social community Theodor Herzl − 1860 - 1904 − Father of Modern Zionism − He was a Viennese journalist − Witnessed anti-Semetic Dreyfus trial in Paris o Dreyfus was accused of passing on secret military information o The trial was unfair due to anti-Semitic sentiments o Led him to believe Jews needed their own homeland − Zionist idea was nationalistic and secular rather than religious o For many others it was religious, promised by God o For Herzel, he was tired of anti-Semitism and persecution o Not as interested in Israel as he was in
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