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Arthur Cohen Dead at 58

The noted Jewish author and publisher Arthur Cohen died Friday morning of cancer in New York at age 58. Cohen authored numerous works on the history of Jewish thought, including “Martin Buber,” “The Tremendum: A Theological Interpretation of the Holocaust,” and “Herbert Bayer: The Complete Work.”

Cohen also wrote five novels, including “An Admirable Woman,” based on the life and work of his close friend Hannah Arendt which won him the National Jewish Book Award. Other novels include “A Hero in His Time,” and “In the Days of Simon Stern.”

During his last years, Cohen completed two books expected to be published within the year: “Artists and Enemies: Three Novellas,” and “A Handbook of Jewish Religious Thought,” edited with another noted scholar of Jewish thought, Paul Mendes-Flohr.

After completing his graduate studies in comparative religion and philosophy, Cohen attended the Jewish Theological Seminary of America for three years to study medieval Jewish philosophy. It was during those years that Cohen founded the Noonday Press with friend Cecil Hemley. He went on to become editor-in-chief of Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Cohen worked as a visiting lecturer at Brown University and at the Jewish Institute of Religion. He also chaired the Board of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research.

Cohen contributed many articles to journals and magazines over the years. His treatise. “Why I Choose To Be a Jew,” published in Harper’s in 1959 has been widely read by students of Jewish thought. In the article, Cohen stressed the need for connecting Jewish identity with the Jewish religion to ensure survival of both.

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