Chapter

Exotericism Embraced

Laurence Lampert

in The Enduring Importance of Leo Strauss

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780226039480
Published online September 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780226039510 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226039510.003.0003
Exotericism Embraced

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“The Law of Reason in the Kuzari” occupies a special place in Strauss’s writings because it treats the theme of “what a philosopher is” or “the relation of philosophy to social or political life.” Strauss’s essay is a commentary on Yehuda Halevi’s dialogue, the Kuzari. By showing how philosophy is treated by a thinker who came to philosophy within Judaism in the twelfth century, Strauss shows how philosophy and Judaism are antithetical and therefore why the philosopher must adopt a strict practice of exotericism to shelter himself and philosophy from the suspicion of heresy and disloyalty. On the positive side, Strauss shows the advantage of monotheism for moral order and hence Halevi’s positive reason for abandoning the religions of the philosophers for a religion of revelation. Not incidentally, the essay provides Strauss’s reasons for his own exoteric practice.

Keywords: esotericism; exotericism; Halevi; monotheism; morality; revelation; Leo Strauss; philosopher

Chapter.  18774 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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