Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Hermann Cohen

German Jewish Philosopher

"Ethics is the vital principle of Judaism. Its religion aims to be, and is, moral doctrine. Love of God is knowledge of God, and that is knowledge of the ultimate moral purpose of mankind."

"Is there any doctrine of immortality that can say anything more simple yet definitive about man’s fate after death? He has come from God and returns to God. From the very beginning, man is bound up with God; and this bond continues to exist, unaffected by death which befalls the body only. God’s creation of man’s spirit, then, must be understood as a principle whose consequence is immortality."

"I cannot love God without devoting my whole heart as living for the sake of my fellow-men, without devoting my entire soul as responsive to all the spiritual trends in the world around me, without devoting all my force to this God in His correlation with man."

"Man strives for reconciliation with God – could he aspire to anything higher? Since identity with God is a paradoxical notion, reconciliation with Him remains man’s only goal because it represents no less than his redemption from the conflicting forces within his own nature."