Shmuel Trigano

Monotheism is a Form of Humanism Publication date : April 1, 2000

According to the author, our civilisation is undergoing a general state of crisis: unrestrained individualism, rampant materialism, dysfunctional democracies, the problems encountered in trying to build a system of ethics that takes into account new developments in science and technology, and the loss of personal identity (or, on the contrary, total self-involvement). This state of affairs prompts the disturbing question: Is contemporary humanity destined for extinction? Is it dying? Is it already dead? Is it no more than a memory, as Michel Foucault thought?
This state of affairs leads Shmuel Trigano to encourage us to rediscover the profound meaning of monotheism, a concept that he believes can enhance our humanity, which is under threat from recent events. He argues that monotheism has too often been identified with totalitarianism and obscurantism, and maintains that monotheism has a profound philosophical aspect that can enhance humanism. Monotheism can thrive again because it opens the door that had been shut by the dilemmas of modern times.
“Know whom you stand in front of!” says the Talmud. According to this assertion. the meaning of humanity lies in the relationship with a single deity.
Trigano offers a contemporary revaluation of this dictum, without ignoring its different manifestation in other religions.

Shmuel Trigano teaches the sociology of politics and religion at the University of Paris-X-Nanterre. He founded the College of Jewish Studies, of the World Jewish Alliance, and Pardès, a European magazine devoted to Jewish cultural studies. He is the author of numerous works in the fields of political philosophy, spirituality, and history, including L’Idéal Démocratique. à l’Épreuve de la Shoa.