"Samuelson's book takes the student on a fascinating tour through the world of Judaism in general and Jewish Philosophy in particular. In an illuminating, concise, and deep manner he succeeds in leading the reader through the ever-changing landscape of Jewish responses to western culture, to its own heritage, and to the philosophies and theologies of the surrounding religions. The book is not only a wonderful elucidation of one of the central aspects of what Judaism is all about; It is also a fascinating encounter with one of the prominent humanistic religious Jewish thinkers of our time. "
Dr Yehoyada Amir, Department of Jewish Thought, Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Director of the Israel Rabbinic Program, Hebrew Union College, Jerusalem
"One of America's leading Jewish philosophers has written an admirable guide to the history of Jewish philosophical reflection from its Hebraic roots to Franz Rosenzweig. Readers with little or no background in the subject matter will find the tale told with commendable clarity, charity and authority. Highly recommended."
Professor John ClaytonChairman, Department of ReligionDirector, Graduate Division of Religious and Theological StudiesBoston University
"Jewish philosophy" - wouldn't that be squaring the circle? Anyone who does not take their fundamental concepts - God, World, Man, and the expressions for their relationships with each other - from the Bible and therefore from revelation, is not properly Jewish. However, anyone who takes them from something other than the secular tradition of thought from Plato to Hegel, is not a serious philosopher. Norbert Samuelson shows how these two demands have been reconciled in the history of Jewish thought, repeatedly, differently, but successfully, by the great thinkers among the Rabbis from Maimonides, Gersonides, Crescas, Spinoza, Cohen and Buber, to Rosenzweig. Samuelson describes the individual positions with sovereign precision. Beginners in philosophy will admire his didactic brilliance, and anyone who is convinced that "Jewish philosophy" is still possible in a postmodern age will be thankful for the orientation offered by the history presented here.
Martin Brasser, Dozent fur Philosophie am Philosophischen Seminar, University of Lucerne
"Samuelson has a brisk but accessible style, moving from topic to topic rapidly yet confidently…there are interesting and useful discussions one can find in Samuelson's present book." — Janus Head, Summer 2005 (Janus Head)
"Samuelson has a brisk but accessible style, moving from topic to topic rapidly yet confidently…there are interesting and useful discussions one can find in Samuelson's present book." — Janus Head, Summer 2005 (,)