Judaism and the Idea of the Future

Kenneth Seeskin

in Judaic Sources and Western Thought

Published in print June 2011 | ISBN: 9780199583157
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728952 | DOI:
Judaism and the Idea of the Future

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One of the chief ways in which the Jewish worldview differs from that of the Greco-Roman world is that it is committed to the idea that the future does not have to repeat the mistakes of the past. This chapter explores the philosophic implications of this idea asking whether hope for a better future can be defended without succumbing to superstition, waiting for an apocalypse, or engaging in utopian speculation. It takes its cue from Maimonides, who argued that during the Days of the Messiah, there will be no miracles and no apocalypse. In other words, the end of history will not be an earthly paradise but a period of peace when people will have more time for study and worship. Contrary to the later views of Kant and Cohen, the end of history is within the power of human beings to achieve

Keywords: future; Messiah; apocalypse; Maimonides; Immanuel Kant; Hermann Cohen

Chapter.  9288 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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