Emil Fackenheim was the last in a long line of Jewish philosophers to emerge from Germany, the modern center of Western philosophy, following Moses Mendelssohn, Leo Baeck, and Martin Buber. In this revealing book, David Patterson explores Fackenheim's rigorous pursuit of a philosophical response to the tragedy of the Holocaust. Fackenheim's writing sheds light on the tensions between Jewish thinking and German philosophy, illustrating how elements of the latter were used by the Nazis to justify Jewish annihilation. In addition, he emphasizes the important implications of defining Jewish philosophy as its own entity, separate from the tenets of the Jewish cultural tradition.
David Patterson is the Bornblum Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Memphis. He has published numerous books and articles on Jewish culture and religion, including Sun Turned to Darkness, also published by Syracuse University Press.