Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy
The problems of evil and suffering have been extensively discussed in Jewish philosophy, and much of the discussion has centred on the Book of Job. In this new study Oliver Leaman poses two questions: how can a powerful and caring deity allow terrible things to happen to obviously innocent people, and why has the Jewish people been so harshly treated throughout history, given its status as the chosen people? He explores these issues through an analysis of the views of Philo, Saadya, Maimonides, Gersonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Buber, Rosenzweig, and post-Holocaust thinkers, and suggests that a discussion of evil and suffering is really a discussion about our relationship with God. The Book of Job is thus both the point of departure and the point of return.
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