Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Steven Gimbel

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Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

Einstein s Jewish Science Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion Is relativity Jewish The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein s revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers Philosopher of s

  • Title: Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion
  • Author: Steven Gimbel
  • ISBN: 9781421405544
  • Page: 414
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Is relativity Jewish The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein s revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science, a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein s theory of relativity is Jewish.ArguIs relativity Jewish The Nazis denigrated Albert Einstein s revolutionary theory by calling it Jewish science, a charge typical of the ideological excesses of Hitler and his followers Philosopher of science Steven Gimbel explores the many meanings of this provocative phrase and considers whether there is any sense in which Einstein s theory of relativity is Jewish.Arguing that we must take seriously the possibility that the Nazis were in some measure correct, Gimbel examines Einstein and his work to explore how beliefs, background, and environment may or may not have influenced the work of the scientist You cannot understand Einstein s science, Gimbel declares, without knowing the history, religion, and philosophy that influenced it.No one, especially Einstein himself, denies Einstein s Jewish heritage, but many are uncomfortable saying that he was being a Jew while he was at his desk working To understand what Jewish means for Einstein s work, Gimbel first explores the many definitions of Jewish and asks whether there are elements of Talmudic thinking apparent in Einstein s theory of relativity He applies this line of inquiry to other scientists, including Isaac Newton, Ren Descartes, Sigmund Freud, and mile Durkheim, to consider whether their specific religious beliefs or backgrounds manifested in their scientific endeavors.Einstein s Jewish Science intertwines science, history, philosophy, theology, and politics in fresh and fascinating ways to solve the multifaceted riddle of what religion means and what it means to science There are some senses, Gimbel claims, in which Jews can find a special connection to E mc2, and this claim leads to the engaging, spirited debate at the heart of this book.

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      Published :2018-06-09T18:06:42+00:00

    One thought on “Einstein's Jewish Science: Physics at the Intersection of Politics and Religion

    1. Mich on said:

      The book examines why the Nazis labelled his work as Jewish science, examines to what extent the Jewish/ Talmudic way of thinking may have influenced Einstein's approach to theory of relativity and recounts the virulent anti semitism towards Einstein and other Jewish scientists. The author is the chair of the dept of philosophy at Gettysberg College so there is some heavy philosophy in parts of this, which can be skimmed and also some moderate scientific analysis of relativity. In dealing with t [...]

    2. Zach on said:

      Every so often a book scratches an itch I didn't know I had. This book revolves around the question "Is Einstein's theory of relativity inherently Jewish?" I initially thought the question reads as racist, and the book follows the question with an exploration of the Nazi ideology and why German nationalists tried to discredit Einstein's theory through claims of faith. More interestingly, it traces the theories of Newton, Copernicus, and Descartes and examines the theological influences present i [...]

    3. Joe on said:

      Tis is a book that is geared up to fight a windmill whose days are long past. It gives a good review of old philosophy and incidents of the ugly German abnormal World influence, now past. I did not put it down as I am an History student and it did have some practices with which I was not familiar. It is short read, but the authors style seems to be impaired by his anxiousness to get his outrage on paper. He, of course, is correct in his dellivery of events with respect to the Nazii's.All and all [...]

    4. Fred Kohn on said:

      I had to take away one star from this brilliant book because I didn't find it very well organized. The author argues that it is not completely possible to separate a scientific method from a religious context. This does not mean that it is fair to call Einstein's method "Jewish science"; in most ways it is not. However the discussion of the "Christian" method of science which assumes access to absolute truth via a privileged reference frame (a pope or the priesthood of an individual believer) vs [...]

    5. Donna on said:

      This was not an easy read, but it was a thoroughly thought provoking book. Of the chapters, Chapter three was the most compelling for me. The scientific information challenged me. I had to recall my meager scientific knowledge. But the upside was melding my Jewish insights. I applaud the author for taking on this subject and dealing with it in a balanced way. Not a book for everyone, but certainly one for those who want to explore how our beliefs affect our approach to science. This book is rele [...]

    6. David Berkowitz on said:

      It's often a fascinating read about Einstein, with the perspective that his worldview was influenced by Judaism in ways similar to how Descartes was a Catholic scientist and Newton a Protestant scientist. Yet the meandering narrative tried to cover too much ground with too many detours; often I was wondering when Einstein would return.

    7. Sharon on said:

      I like the premise of this book, at time I found it a bit heavy on the physics/philosophy side (which I guess is to be expected considering the subject matter). Some times I felt like I had to push through the reading. Finally, I did not find the synthesis and conclusion that elucidating. Still have a soft spot for Albert though!

    8. Wally on said:

      This is a fascinating account of the relationship between religious beliefs and scientific inquiry. Very informative and well researched, although the original thesis of there being a "Jewish Science" is not supported.

    9. David Chapius on said:

      Einstein, in any approach to his life and profession is always of interest to the science reading public. This book is no exception.

    10. Jonna Higgins-Freese on said:

      The idea was good, but the presentation was exceedingly slow and not terribly engaging.

    11. Steve on said:

      Frustrating book to read due to it rambling all over the place and seemingly going off topic regularly. Still, the book has a pile of gems and insights and I'm glad I made it to the end.

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