Samuel Fleischacker

in Divine Teaching and the Way of the World

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199217366
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728495 | DOI:

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An overview of the account of revelation to be explicated over the course of the next four chapters. The account attempts to fit both the formal features thus far attributed to the idea of the highest good, and many of the qualities to be found in actual candidates for revelation: the Torah, Quran, Vedas, etc. Features of these texts are canvassed, and examples are also given of how people in the modern world come to accept a text as revealed. From these considerations, four general marks of a revealed text are drawn: (1) it must purport to solve a difficult moral problem; (2) it must be beautiful, in the way an artwork is; (3) it must present or suggest a path, a set of practices, by which its moral-beautiful vision can infuse and structure its followers’ daily lives; and (4) what it says in each of these respects must be unexpected, new, to its adherents. The first three marks will be taken up in the following three chapters; the fourth appears, somewhat differently, within the accounts of the others.

Keywords: revelation; authority; Torah from Sinai; morality; beauty; path

Chapter.  9293 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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