(Moses ben Menahem Mendel; Moses Dessau; 172986). Grandfather of J. L. F. Mendelssohn-Bartholdy*; b. Dessau, Ger.; Jewish philos.; friend of G. E. Lessing.* Tried to win the educated class among the people for rational religion, tolerance, and good taste; popularized the philos. of C. v. Wolff*; interpreted Judaism with Eur. philos. concepts; held that unity (as beauty) is only enjoyed in feeling and experience; developed moral theol. proof for immortality of the soul; tried to show the rational character of Judaism; held that God gave the Jews only a law, not a religion, and demands works, not faith. See also Haskalah.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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