Over and above the single results, which it would be superfluous and perhaps inappropriate to summarise here, the debates and paths of the philosophers have shown the difficulty of understanding a phenomenon that was, at the same time, religious and national, cultural and historical. If the very definition of Jew and Judaism remains arduous,997 the collocation within a historical and philosophical scheme appears to be even more difficult. It could certainly be concluded that we are faced by a perennial anachronism, but, perhaps, the anachronism demonstrates that the prejudice of evolution and modernity is unsustainable, and that every philosophical discourse on the final aim of history runs the risk of overlooking diversity and pluralism. The heritage of Christian theology was felt throughout the period we have considered, even during the time of the criticism of Christianity. The opposition between Old and New Testament, in the name of moral autonomy, the spirit or historicity had brought about a devaluation of Judaism with respect to the demands of contemporary man. The New Testament category of fulfilment had ended up being read largely as surpassing. The necessity of Judaism was, therefore, relegated almost exclusively to the preparatory phase of the modern world. However, there was something lacking in this scheme.


Philosophical Discourse Preparatory Phase Christian Theology Moral Autonomy Cultural Commitment 
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  1. 997.
    See David Nowak, The Election of Israel. The Idea of the Chosen people. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995, 1–5. This difficulty is also pointed out in the work of Arendt, see Bernstein, op. cit., 27–9, 184–87.Google Scholar
  2. 998.
    In this sense seeing Enlightenment and reason as the origin of the reduction and finally of the nullification of Judaism (Lerousseau, op. cit., 16–17, 18, 20–21, 25, 102, 109, 181, 298–303, 304, 321–324, 338, 341, 343–347) seems to be an oversimplification of the historical and philosophical complexity.Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesco Tomasoni
    • 1
  1. 1.Facoltà di Lettere e FilosofiaUniversità Del Piemonte OrientaleVercelliItaly

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