Modern Judaism's Need for Philosophy
A Question of Vitality
Philosophy has at some time or another made its appearance in all the great religions of the world. Why? Because the problem of God and the world can be approached by way of philosophy too; because at some points both ways converge and merge; and because the dovetailing of the philosophical and the religious view of the divine becomes so important at times that upon this interaction may depend the vigor and very life of a religion.
There is a widespread view that the importance of philosophy is necessarily restricted to the small number of those who study it, and that it is therefore of no consequence to the overwhelming majority of mankind. On the other hand, the language of religion, its images and doctrines, are easily assimilated by all, and the words of the prophets are in a certain way grasped by the masses. Even where there is a union of religion and philosophy, however, we may find that a barrier has been interposed which prevents normal understanding and communication between the few who lead and the majority of men. What good is such a union when its result and its significance cannot be communicated to those for whom the religion exists?
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