Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself: A Jewish Perspective

Hardcover | May 28, 2008

byLenn E. Goodman

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This brief and stimulating work is based on the prestigious Gifford Lectures, which Lenn Goodman was invited to deliver in 2005. Goodman was asked to speak about the commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself" from the standpoint of Judaism, a topic and perspective that have not often beenjoined before. Goodman addresses two big questions: "What does that commandment ask of us?" and "What is its basis?" Drawing extensively on Jewish sources, both biblical and rabbinic, he fleshes out the cultural context and historical shape taken on by the commandment. In so doing, he restores therichness of its material content to this core articulation of our moral obligations, which often threatens to sink into vacuity as a mere nostrum or rhetorical formula. Goodman argues against the notion that we have this obligation simply because God demands it -- a position that too readily makesethics seem arbitrary, relativistic, dogmatic, authoritarian, contingent, or just unpalatable. Rather, he proposes that we learn much about how we ought to think about God from what we know about morals. For Goodman, ethics and theology are not worlds apart connected only by a knid of narrowone-way passage; the two realms of discourse can and should inform one another.

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This brief and stimulating work is based on the prestigious Gifford Lectures, which Lenn Goodman was invited to deliver in 2005. Goodman was asked to speak about the commandment to "love thy neighbor as thyself" from the standpoint of Judaism, a topic and perspective that have not often beenjoined before. Goodman addresses two big qu...

Lenn E. Goodman is Professor of Philosophy and Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University. His books include On Justice: An Essay in Jewish Philosophy, God of Abraham, Judaism, Human Rights and Human Values, and In Defense of Truth: A Pluralist Approach

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:May 28, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195328825

ISBN - 13:9780195328820

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"A tour de force of dialectical philosophical ethics. With brilliant erudition and copious common sense, Goodman weaves together resources from the entire span of Jewish thinking, with careful consideration of Muslim and Christian theology, to address some of the most serious philosophicalissues of our day, such as "why be moral?" I recommend this volume as one of the best Giffords in years." --Robert Cummings Neville, author of Religion in Late Modernity