By Michah Gottlieb
German Jewish thinker Moses Mendelssohn (1729–1786) is better recognized within the English-speaking global for his Jerusalem (1783), the 1st try and current Judaism as a faith suitable with the guidelines of the Enlightenment. whereas incorporating a lot of Jerusalem, Michah Gottlieb’s quantity seeks to extend wisdom of Mendelssohn’s notion by means of proposing translations of lots of his different seminal writings from the German or Hebrew originals. those writings comprise essays, commentaries, unpublished reflections, and private letters.
Part One contains decisions from the 3 significant controversies of Mendelssohn’s lifestyles, all of which concerned polemical encounters with Christian thinkers. half provides choices from Mendelssohn’s writings at the Bible. half 3 deals texts that remove darkness from Mendelssohn’s concepts on a various diversity of spiritual subject matters, together with God’s life, the immortality of the soul, and miracles. Designed for sophistication adoption, the amount includes annotations and an creation by way of the editor.
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Extra resources for Moses Mendelssohn: Writings on Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible
9 We take only ourselves to be obliged to observe these laws, and this cannot offend our fellow men. Do our opinions seem absurd? It is not necessary to dispute the matter. We act in accordance with our convictions, and others may call into question the validity of laws that, by our own admission, place them under no obligation. We can leave to their own consciences whether or not they act justly, tolerantly, and philanthropically when they ridicule our laws and customs to such a degree. As long as we do not intend to convince others of our opinions, arguing is useless.
Most of his conclusions seem to me to follow so little from his premises that I would dare to defend any religion with the same reasons. Perhaps the author himself is not to be blamed for this; he can only have written for such readers who, like him, are convinced and who read only to strengthen their faith. If writer and reader agree about the result, then they will soon come to an agreement about the reasons. But, sir, I rightly wonder at the fact that you consider this book sufficient for persuading a person who, given his principles, must be partial to an opposing view.
Whoever believes that no salvation is to be found outside of his church must quite often feel such a sigh rising in his breast. It is indeed a natural obligation for every mortal man to spread knowledge and virtue among his fellow men and to blot out their prejudices and errors as much as is within his power. Given this way of thinking, one might believe that everyone is obliged to publicly dispute the religious opinions that he takes to be erroneous. But not all prejudices are equally harmful, and therefore the prejudices that we believe we perceive among our fellow men must not all be handled in the same fashion.
Moses Mendelssohn: Writings on Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible by Michah Gottlieb