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Epicurus & Apikorsim


The Influence of The Greek Epicurus and Jewish Apikorsim on Judaism


This book describes the influence of Epicurus on Judaism. Judaism is the only national culture which has adopted the name of this Greek philosopher, using it as a term designating Jews who believe in freedom to choose their way of life, without obligation to obey religious precepts. Today, most Jews live as "Apikorsim". The heresy implicit in the denial of the existence of a personal God includes a denial of belief in life after death. Apikorsim believe that the purpose of life and of morality is found in striving for happiness.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-344-1
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Oct 29,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 170
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-344-1
$126.00

This book describes the influence of Epicurus on Judaism. Judaism is the only national culture which has adopted the name of this Greek philosopher, using it as a term designating Jews who believe in freedom to choose their way of life, without obligation to obey religious precepts. Today, most Jews live as "Apikorsim". The heresy implicit in the denial of the existence of a personal God includes a denial of belief in life after death.

Apikorsim believe that the purpose of life and of morality is found in striving for happiness – the betterment of human life whose principles are based on the laws of universal justice as phrased by Hillel: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Epicurus' non-religious philosophy spread during the Hellenistic period to all Mediterranean cultures, including Judaism. Its effect can be found in the Bible in the books of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes and the Book of Job.

This book describes the influence of Epicurus on Judaism. Judaism is the only national culture which has adopted the name of this Greek philosopher, using it as a term designating Jews who believe in freedom to choose their way of life, without obligation to obey religious precepts. Today, most Jews live as "Apikorsim". The heresy implicit in the denial of the existence of a personal God includes a denial of belief in life after death.

Apikorsim believe that the purpose of life and of morality is found in striving for happiness – the betterment of human life whose principles are based on the laws of universal justice as phrased by Hillel: Do not do unto others what you would not have them do unto you.

Epicurus' non-religious philosophy spread during the Hellenistic period to all Mediterranean cultures, including Judaism. Its effect can be found in the Bible in the books of Kohelet/Ecclesiastes and the Book of Job.

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Contributor

Yaakov Malkin

  • Dedication Page (page 6)
  • Only in Judaism did the name of the philosopher Epicurus come to mean hereticŽ, and Epicureanism heresyŽ. All heresy however, derives from belief …religious or otherwise. (page 11)
  • The contrasts between views, beliefs and heresies further the development of Judaism as a culture …which is, like all culture, a functional unity of contrasting elements. (Cassirer) (page 15)
  • From Epicurus Belief in the Reality of Knowledge of the Physical and Human World Stems Rejection of Life After Death and Divine Providence (page 26)
  • From Epicurus Belief in Pleasure and Happiness as Lifes Purpose and Supreme Moral Value Stems Rejection of any Obligation to Observe Religious Precepts Imposed in Gods Name (page 30)
  • Definitions of Apikorsut in Judaism and the Laws that Attest to its Proliferation Apikorsut in the Mishnah, Judah Halevis Kuzari and the Writings of Maimonides (page 35)
  • Epicurean Influence in the Books of Ecclesiastes and Job, Written in the Hellenistic Period (page 41)
  • Jewish Apikorsim Live by their Beliefs and within their National Culture, Founded on the Bible (page 56)
  • Apikorsim Have Contributed to the Development of Judaism andits Many Beliefs, Casting Past Judaisms in a New Light (page 61)
  • Biblical Judaism … Debate between Monotheists and Polytheists, and between Theodicists and those who Doubt the Justness of the Judge of all the Earth (page 70)
  • Apikorsim and Debate among Jews of the Middle Ages in Areas Under Muslim Rule (page 76)
  • The Renaissance and Enlightenment Accelerate the Secularisation Process in Judaism as Well, Following Spinoza (page 82)
  • The Distinct Character of Jewish Apikorsim …Whose Lives and Education are Influenced by Jewish National Culture (page 86)
  • A-theistic and Epicurean Philosophies Develop in the Middle of the First Millennium BCE (page 91)
  • Epicureanism Spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin in the Hellenistic Period (page 98)
  • The Difference between Epicureanism and the Platonism that Prevailed at the Schools in Epicurus Time (page 104)
  • Commitment to the Principles of Justice and Moral Values that Stem from the Epicurean Belief that Mans Ultimate Goal is the Improvement of Life and the Multiplication and Refinement of its Pleasures (page 113)
  • In the Late Middle Ages, Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment - Man, His Pleasures and His Happiness Are Once Again the Ultimate Goal of Morality (page 115)
  • Prevailing Epicurean Ideas in the Age of Enlightenment: Pursuit of Happiness, Unity of Body and Soul, Existence of a Single World, Motion of Particles in Matter (page 122)
  • Epicurean Principles Guide the Actions of Individuals in Contemporary Western Culture; and the Ways in which they Approach the Contrasts and Interdependence of the Free-Market Economy and the Welfare State (page 128)
  • The First Jewish Apikoros … Ninth Century Freethinker Hiwi al-Balkhi, Influenced by the Islamic Rationalist Movements (page 134)
  • The Subjects of Hiwis Criticism: Biblical Criticism, the Relationship between God and the World, Gods Corporeality, Miracles, the Religious Precepts, Punishment and Reward, the World to Come (page 145)
  • Biblical Criticism (page 145)
  • The Relationship between God and the World (page 148)
  • Gods Corporeality (page 150)
  • Miracles (page 152)
  • Man and his Nature (page 155)
  • The Obligation to Observe the Precepts (page 156)
  • Reward and Punishment and the World to Come (page 158)
  • The Power and Impact of Apikorsut (page 159)
  • The Apikoros Criticism of the Bible Changed its Image and Role in Judaism and Jewish Education (page 162)
  • The Apikoros Beliefs and the Revival of Jewish Historiography have Changed Judaisms Image from Judaism as Religion to Judaism as Culture (page 165)
  • Bibliography (page 168)