The Principles of Judaism

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In this book Samuel Lebens takes the three principles of Jewish faith, as they were proposed in the fifteenth century by Rabbi Joseph Albo, and seeks to scrutinize and refine them with the toolkit of contemporary analytic philosophy. What could it mean for a perfect being to create a world out of nothing? Could such a world be anything more than a figment of God’s imagination? What is the Torah, and what must a person believe before it would make sense to treat it as Orthodox Judaism does? What does Judaism expect from a Messiah, and what would it mean for a world to be redeemed? These questions are explored in conversation with a wide array of Jewish sources—the Bible, Philo, the rabbis of the Mishna and Talmud, the medieval rationalists and mystics, the Hassidim, and more, with an eye towards diverse fields of contemporary research, such as cosmology, logic, the ontology of literature, and the metaphysics of time. This book is an attempt to articulate the most fundamental axioms of Orthodox Judaism in the vernacular of contemporary philosophy.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages331
ISBN (Electronic)9780198843252
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Samuel Lebens 2020.


  • Hassidic idealism
  • Jewish philosophy
  • Jewish theology
  • Judaism
  • Torah
  • creation
  • faith
  • philosophy of time
  • problem of evil
  • revelation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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