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Timothy Knepper, Alan Mittleman, Tzvee Zahavy,

The tenth issue:

Techniques and Rules of Ineffability in the Dionysian Corpus

The Author: Timothy Knepper,
Is the Dionysian God, or an experience of the Dionysian God, absolutely ineffable? Does the Dionysian corpus assert or perform such ineffability? This paper will argue that the answer to each of these questions is no. The Dionysian God is known hyper-nous as the hyper-ousia cause of all. And the Dionysian corpus unambiguously refers to, asserts of, and metaphorizes about this God just so. In arguing these points, this paper will call upon both the speech act theory of John Searle and the metaphor theory of George Lakoff and Mark Johnson. More particularly, it will look to Searle’s rules of reference and predication and conditions of illocutionary acts, as well as Lakoff and Johnson’s schematization of metaphor gestalt and entailment to show how Dionysian expressions of inexpressibility are rule-governed and the Dionysian God is thereby (relatively) effable.

Theorizing Jewish Ethics

The Author: Alan Mittleman,
The concept of Jewish ethics is elusive. Law occupies a prominent place in the phenomenology of traditional Judaism. What room is left for ethics? This paper argues that the dichotomy between law and ethics, with regard to Judaism, is misleading. The fixity of these categories presumes too much, both about normativity per se and about Judaism. Rather than naming categories “law” and “ethics” should be seen as contrastive terms that play a role in fundamental arguments about how to characterize Judaism.

Varieties of Religious Visualizations

The Author: Tzvee Zahavy,
In this paper, I describe several distinct visualizations that I recognize in Jewish prayers. By the term prayers, I mean the texts recited by Jews in religious ritual contexts. By the term visualizations, I mean the formation of mental visual images of a place and time, of a narrative activity or scene, or of an inner disposition. The goals of the visualizations can include: (1) professed communication with God, articulation of common religious values for (2) personal satisfaction or for (3) the sake of social solidarity, or (4) attainment of altered inner emotional states or moods.