Receiving Revelation

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:
Receiving Revelation

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As was noted in Chapter 1 of this Part, revelations must be actively received: spontaneous receptivity is one essential aspect of faith. That means that they need to be interpreted; every revealed religion gives rise to a tradition of interpretation. The nature of such traditions is brought out by examining how, in the Jewish tradition, the so-called “oral Torah”—the Talmud, and other rabbinic writings—transforms the written Torah into a practical code. One particularly important feature of this process is that it moralizes the revealed text, transforms its historical pockmarks into sources of moral teaching. The Jewish example is then generalized, and some criteria for the responsible interpretation of any religious tradition are proposed.

Keywords: reception; interpretation; community; Talmud; pockmarks; oral Torah

Chapter.  15647 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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