Idolatry and its Premature Rabbinic Obituary

In Aaron Segal & Daniel Frank (eds.), Debates in Jewish Philosophy - Past and Present. Routledge (forthcoming)
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The current paper aims at merely charting a brief outline of Jewish philosophical attitudes toward idolatry. In its first part, I discuss some chief trends in Rabbinic approach toward idolatry. In the second part, I examine the role of idolatry in the philosophy of religion of Moses Maimonides and Benedict de Spinoza, two towering figures of medieval and early modern Jewish philosophy. In the third and last part, I address the relevance of the notion of idolatry to contemporary Jewish life, and argue that the early rabbinic announcement on the perishing of the inclination toward idolatry might have been premature.
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