Thinkers & Thought QuizA wide cast of intellectuals devoted their lives to defining what Judaism meant to them, and what it should mean to others. How much do you know about these thinkers and their philosophies?
Question 1. When did Jewish thinkers begin to try to prove the existence of God?
In the Second Temple period
In the Talmud
In the Middle Ages
After the Enlightenment
Question 2. Which of these Jewish thinkers lived most recently?
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson
Question 3. Emmanuel Levinas published works in Les Temps Modernes--the journal of which French philosopher?
Simone de Beauvoir
Question 4. In religious existentialism the believer adopts monotheism because
He has seen absolute proof of a single God
Through a leap of faith
He understands that he is just a speck in the vastness of the universe
He has been told to at Sunday school
Question 5. Who wrote Wars of the Lord?
Question 6. Which of these statements about Jewish philosophy is true?
There is not a lot of debate; most issues are very straightforward and authorities are unified
It has historically been more important than Jewish practice (halakhah)
Throughout history, it developed in dialogue with surrounding cultures
Though there is a lot of debate, all agree that the ultimate reward awaits in the World to Come
Question 7. True or false: Kabbalists thought that only a handful of worthy students should receive the secrets of the Law.
Question 8. Which of the following philosophers was excommunicated from his Jewish community?
Question 9. True or false: Non-Jewish readers refered to Moses Mendelssohn as "the Jewish Socrates."
Question 10. How does Judah Halevi distinguish the Jewish revelation story from Islam and Christianity's stories of revelation?
Judaism doesn't believe in a literal revelation
Judaism's revelation was on a mountain
Judaism's was revealed to 600,000 people and not one person
None of the above