Research Seminar, Andrew Benjamin, Philosophy and Judaism

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Date(s) - 07/08/2014
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm



One of the problems inherent in any attempt to think through the relationship
between Judaism and philosophy concerns the status to be ascribed both to
Torah and sacred texts. While the presence of God as a possible object of belief
forms one of the central questions posed within the philosophy of religion,
the contention that orientates this lecture is that the question of God can and
perhaps should take on a fundamentally different status within Judaism. If God
can be understood as ‘the giver of Torah’, which is the formulation provided in
Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Berakhot 11b, then the locus of the philosophical,
and in this instance ‘philosophy’ is deployed as a term that will become
commensurate with a version of Midrash, has to be the presence of the ‘gift’ as
creating its own logic. The aim of this lecture is to outline some of the elements
at work in developing philosophical Midrash.