In this Book

Moses Mendelssohn
summary
German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729-1786) is best known in the English-speaking world for his Jerusalem (1783), the first attempt to present Judaism as a religion compatible with the ideas of the Enlightenment. While incorporating much of Jerusalem, Michah Gottlieb's volume seeks to expand knowledge of Mendelssohn's thought by presenting translations of many of his other seminal writings from the German or Hebrew originals. These writings include essays, commentaries, unpublished reflections, and personal letters.

Part One includes selections from the three major controversies of Mendelssohn's life, all of which involved polemical encounters with Christian thinkers. Part Two presents selections from Mendelssohn's writings on the Bible. Part Three offers texts that illuminate Mendelssohn's thoughts on a diverse range of religious topics, including God's existence, the immortality of the soul, and miracles. Designed for class adoption, the volume contains annotations and an introduction by the editor.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Moses Mendelssohn and the Project of Modern Jewish Philosophy
  2. pp. xi-xxviii
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  1. I. Polemical Writings
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. The Lavater Affair and Related Documents (1769–1773)
  2. pp. 3-4
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  1. 1. Lavater’s Dedication to Mendelssohn (1769)
  2. pp. 5-5
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  1. 2. Open Letter to Lavater (1769)
  2. pp. 6-15
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  1. 3. From “Counter-Reflections to Bonnet’s Palingenesis” (1770)
  2. pp. 16-30
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  1. 4. Letter to Rabbi Jacob Emden, 26 October 1773
  2. pp. 32-35
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  1. 5. Letter to “a Man of Rank” (Rochus Friedrich Graf von Lynar), 26 January 1770
  2. pp. 37-38
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  1. Jerusalem and Related Documents (1782–1783)
  2. pp. 39-39
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  1. 6. From the Preface to Vindiciae Judaeorum (1782)
  2. pp. 40-54
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  1. 7. The Search for Light and Right in a Letter to Mr. Moses Mendelssohn, on the Occasion of his Remarkable Preface to Menasseh ben Israel (1782)
  2. pp. 55-67
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  1. 8. Mörschel’s Postscript (1782)
  2. pp. 68-71
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  1. 9. From Jerusalem, or on Religious Power and Judaism (1783): PART I
  2. pp. 72-123
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  1. 10. From Letter to Naphtali Herz Homberg
  2. pp. 124-124
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  1. The Pantheism Controversy (1785–86)
  2. pp. 125-126
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  1. 11. From Jacobi’s On the Doctrine of Spinoza in Letters to Mr. Moses Mendelssohn (1785)
  2. pp. 127-141
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  1. 12. From Morning Hours, or Lectures on the Existence of God (1785)
  2. pp. 142-152
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  1. 13. From To Lessing’s Friends (1786)
  2. pp. 153-172
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  1. II. Writings on the Bible
  2. pp. 173-175
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  1. 14. From Introduction to Commentary on Ecclesiastes (1770)
  2. pp. 176-181
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  1. 15. Introduction to Translation of the Psalms (1783)
  2. pp. 183-186
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  1. 16. From Letter to August Hennings
  2. pp. 187-188
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  1. 17. From Light for the Path (1783)
  2. pp. 189-204
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  1. 18. Selections from the Bi’ur (1780–83)
  2. pp. 205-230
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  1. III. Miscellany
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. 19. On the Religious Legitimacy of Studying Logic: From the introduction to Elucidation of “Logical Terms” (1761)
  2. pp. 235-240
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  1. 20. An Ontological Proof for God’s Existence: From the “Treatise on Evidence” (1763)
  2. pp. 241-242
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  1. 21. A Cosmological Proof for God’s Existence: From Morning Hours (1785)
  2. pp. 243-245
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  1. 22. A Proof for the Immortality of the Soul: From the Phädon
  2. pp. 246-248
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  1. 23. A Rational Foundation for Ethics: From the “Treatise on Evidence” (1763)
  2. pp. 249-251
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  1. 24. On the Possibility of Miracles: From “Counter-Reflections on Bonnet’s Palingenesis” (1770)
  2. pp. 252-254
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  1. 25. On the Reliability of Miracles: From Mendelssohn’s Letter to Bonnet (9 February 1770)
  2. pp. 255-256
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  1. Suggestions for Further Reading
  2. pp. 257-258
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 259-267
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