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Samuel Atlas Dead at 77

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A funeral service will be held tomorrow for Dr. Samuel Atlas, professor emeritus of philosophy and Talmud at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and an authority on the philosophers Maimonides and Kant, who died yesterday while on a brief vacation in Liberty, N. Y . He was 77 years old.

A native of Lithuania, Atlas came to this country to accept a teaching post at Hebrew Union College in 1942. In 1975 he was designated professor emeritus. Before coming to the U.S., Atlas was a lecturer in philosophy and Talmud at the Institute of Jewish Studies of Warsaw from 1929 to 1934 and at Cambridge University, England, from 1935 to 1939. In 1936, he delivered a series of lectures on Kant and modern thought at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Earlier, he had been ordained a rabbi after attending rabbinic schools in Lithuania. He studied philosophy and law in Moscow and at the German universities of Berlin, Marburg and Giessen. He earned the doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Giessen in 1928.

Among his many scholarly publications in the fields of philosophy and Talmud, his work on the “Novellae of Abraham ibn Doud,” which he edited in Hebrew in 1940, is regarded as particularly notable. Solomon Maimon, the 18th Century Kantian philosopher, also drew Atlas’ scholarly interest and was the subject of a book he published in 1965 which presents a precisive analysis of the role Maimon played in the development of philosophic idealism.

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