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For Jewish philosophy, times are still modern. Hence, a proposal for the future of modern Jewish philosophy has place in a volume devoted to its history. I begin what follows by proposing two approaches to the philosophy of Judaism in modern times. To illustrate both approaches, I then turn to a hallmark of modernity, the historical-critical approach to the Bible. I illustrate the first study to the philosophy of Judaism by exploring assumptions about textual interpretation characteristic of biblical criticism, and sharpening the challenge of biblical criticism to the claim that Jewish scripture is canonical. I illustrate the second approach to the philosophy of Judaism by sketching a solution to this challenge in terms of the concept of love articulated by the distinguished philosophical anthropologist Harry Frankfurt. I conclude by introducing three further topics that complement the issues discussed in the second part. Overall, my goal is to shed light on some fundamental intersections among the themes of interpretation, modernity, and the philosophy of Judaism.
MODERN PHILOSOPHY OF JUDAISM: CONCEPTUAL PROPOSALS
The term “philosophy of religion” is of recent vintage, and the idea of a subfield of philosophy devoted to religion goes back at most a few hundred years. Yet Western philosophy of religion today is as old as Western philosophy itself. Modernity has, nonetheless, introduced new avenues for the philosophical study of religion.