Modern orthodoxy and morality: an uneasy partnership

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Modern orthodoxy often perceives itself and is perceived by others as a movement which grants more importance to moral considerations in its interpretation of halakha and in its general worldview than does the ultra-orthodox movement. Accordingly, modern orthodox rabbis are often referred to as more “moderate” than their ultra-orthodox counterparts, a term which seems to imply that they are more open to moral arguments and more likely to adopt, or to develop, moral interpretations of halakha. A study of some central figures like Walter Wurzburger, Eliezer Berkovits and Joseph B. Soloveitchick, however, indicates that the modern orthodox approach to morality is much more ambivalent. The purpose of this paper is to discuss this ambivalence and to speculate on its source.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.


  • Euthyphro dilemma
  • Jewish ethics
  • Leibowitz
  • Modern orthodoxy
  • Soloveichik

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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