Rethinking ethics in the light of Jewish thought and the life sciences

Norbert M. Samuelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Judaism in the twentieth century began to return to its scriptural, communal roots after a centuries-long detour through Greek-influenced natural philosophy, a detour during which science and ethics were assumed to be partners and Jewish ethics drew heavily on natural philosophy and science. Twentieth-century philosophical ethics and science, particularly biological science, have developed in such a way as to make any continuation of that historical partnership problematic. This is not altogether regrettable because the problematizing of this long-standing partnership has driven Jewish ethics back to its real roots: covenantal relationship, and moral wisdom and discernment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-233
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Religious Ethics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Adultery
  • Biblical ethics
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Jewish ethics
  • Law
  • Mysticism
  • Natural philosophy
  • Postmodernism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies


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