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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2013

M. Andrew Holowchak
Pages 49-71
DOI: 10.5840/forphil20131814

The Fear, Honor, and Love of God
Thomas Jefferson on Jews, Philosophers, and Jesus

In a letter to Benjamin Rush, Jefferson includes a syllabus—a comparative account of the merits of Jewish morality, ancient philosophy, and the precepts of Jesus. Using the syllabus as a guide, this paper is a critical examination of the influence of ancient ethical and religious thinking on Jefferson’s ethical and religious thinking—viz., Jefferson’s views of the ethics and religion of the Hebrews, the ancient philosophers, and Jesus.