Do not seek to follow in the
footsteps of the Masters;
seek what they sought.
-- Zen saying
I've often wondered what Maimonides would have believed if he grew up in the late twentieth century. Surely, being a man inclined to science, he would have accepted evolution and the age and size of the Universe, but how would that have affected his religious views? What if he had studied the great philosophers of the last few centuries instead of those a millennium earlier? Would a post-Enlightenment Maimonides have been an atheist?
What about the writers of the Talmud? Those fine, inquisitive, argumentative minds? What would they have done with Darwin and Nietzsche?
For my Christian readers, what about St. Augustine? Wouldn't his body of work be different if he lived today. What if the authors of the Bible had known the real "Creation" story? How then would Genesis read?
Conversely, would a 12th century Richard Dawkins have been a religious fanatic? (Yes, yes, he's currently an areligious fanatic, don't comment about it.) Would I be writing seforim** like my ancestors instead of blogging as Jewish Atheist?
* "Chazal", according to Wikipedia, "stands for Chachomim Zichrono Livrocho which is Hebrew for 'our sages may their memory be blessed,'" and generally refers to the great Rabbis of the past.
** Books of Jewish learning.