Persons and Other Things: Exploring the Philosophy of the Hebrew Bible
Published: August 2021© 2021
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 264 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.10
264 Pages, 6.00 x 9.10 x 1.10 in
The Hebrew Bible is a philosophical testament. Abraham, the first biblical philosopher, calls out to the world in God’s name exactly as Plato calls out in the name of the Forms.
Abraham comes forward as a critic of pagan thought about, specifically, persons. Moses, to whom the baton is passed, spells out the practical implications of the Bible’s core anthropological teachings.
In Persons and Other Things Mark Glouberman explores the Bible’s philosophy, roughing out in the course of a defence of it how men and women who see themselves in the biblical portrayal (as he argues that most of us do once the "religious" glare is reduced) are committed to conduct their personal affairs, arrange their social ties, and act in the natural world.
Persons and Other Things is also the author’s testament about the practice of philosophy. Glouberman sets out the lessons he has acquired as a lifelong learner about thinking philosophically, about writing philosophy, and about philosophers.
Preamble … with a loosened tie
1. Bibleism and Judaism: Four and a Half Dogmas of Bible Interpretation
2. Godless the Bible’s Philosophy Isn’t
3. “Jew” as a Category Label: Philosophy on the Holocaust
4. Hero, Israel: Troy and the Torah
5. “On one leg”: The Stability of Monotheism
6. “Where were you?”: The Logic of the Book of Job
7. “Let them have dominion”: The Bible and the Natural World
8. “Because … God rested”: Philosophy on the Sabbath Day
9. “In the day that you shall eat”: Do and Die
10. Eat, Pray, Smoke: Halakhah for the Goldsteins and the Goyim
11. God Loves You, Christopher Hitchens
12. Jerry and Jewry: Ethnicity and Humanity in G.A. Cohen
13. “O God, O Montreal!”: Charles Taylor and Turbo-Charged Humanism
14. A Plea for Ontology: Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos
15. Phenomenology and Analysis: A Bridge over the Waters
Epilogue: The Acts of the Philosophers
Finale: “The rest is the commentary thereof”
“The book is full of engaging witticisms. There is hardly a paragraph in which there is not a pun or a play on words. And the book is packed with off-hand references to world literature, mythology, history, and philosophy, many of them beyond the ken of most readers. I found the style to be both challenging and at times worthy of a good laugh out loud.” Jerome Gellman, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Reading Religion
"In Persons and Other Things, Mark Glouberman emphasizes that the philosophy of Genesis stands or falls as philosophy and is distinct from religion or theology. Glouberman conveys the Hebrew philosophers’ insights through an original interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2. To further deepen his position about the relevance of the Bible to Western philosophy, Glouberman shows that the biblical philosophy of non-naturalism supports or undermines the central positions of important contemporary philosophers such as P.F. Strawson, Charles Taylor, and Thomas Nagel."Richard Keshen, Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Cape Breton University
"Glouberman invokes fundamental principles in each of these quite varied essays. In Genesis 1, God creates the natural world (including humans); nature is a complete system, in process, and in which individuals can be individuated by their place in the system. But God’s resting on the seventh day indicates that He is a particular, not in the system. Nature doesn’t rest. Thus human beings, considered as particulars rather than as individuals, constitute limits to naturalism."Steven Burns, Professor of Philosophy, Dalhousie University
- Short-listed - AAR Awards for Excellence in the Study of Religion – Constructive-Reflective Studies
Awarded by the American Academy of Religion