Thinking about the Prophets: A Philosopher Reads the Bible by Kenneth Seeskin
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Rethinking the great literary prophets whose ministry ran from the eighth to the sixth centuries BCE—Amos, Hosea, First Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Second Isaiah, and Job—Thinking about the Prophets examines their often-shocking teachings in light of their times, their influence on later Western and Jewish thinkers, and their enduring lessons for all of us. As a noted scholar of Jewish philosophy, Kenneth Seeskin teases out philosophical, ethical, and theological questions in the writings, such as the nature of moral reasoning, the divine persona, divine providence, the suffering of the innocent, the power of repentance, and what it means to believe in a monotheistic conception of God.
Seeskin demonstrates that great ideas are not limited by time or place, but rather once put forth, take on a life of their own. Thus he interweaves the medieval and modern philosophers Maimonides, Kant, Cohen, Buber, Levinas, Heschel, and Soloveitchik, all of whom read the prophets and had important things to say as a result. We come to see the prophets perhaps in equal measure as divinely authorized whistle-blowers and profound thinkers of the human condition.
Readers of all levels will find this volume an accessible and provoking introduction to the enduring significance of biblical prophecy.
Year first published: 2020