Asher, David

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ASHER, DAVID (1818–1890), German philosophical writer and journalist. Born in Dresden, he went to England as a young man. There he published a catechism Outlines of the Jewish Religion (1845). He became headmaster of the Hebrew Association School of Manchester (1845) and later was tutor to the son of the chief rabbi, N.M. *Adler. Influenced to a mild degree by M. *Mendelssohn and thinkers of the Enlightenment (*Haskalah), Asher wrote a booklet on faith: Der religioese Glaube: Eine psychologische Studie als Beitrag zur Psychologie und Religionsphilosophie. By the time it appeared in 1860, he was mainly influenced by Schopenhauer, with whom he had been corresponding. Schopenhauer's non-belief in the immortality of the individual soul and his teachings on the Will to Live and the world-creating power of the Will, if not his pessimism, were in harmony with Mosaic concepts, argued Asher in Das Endergebnis der Schopenhauer'schen Philosophie in seiner Uebereinstimmung mit einer der aeltesten Religionen (1885). A few pages of this booklet are devoted to a refutation of antisemitism.


jc (Dec. 5 and 12, 1890); Wininger, Biog, s.v.; azdj, 54 (1890), 609–10 (incl. bibl.).

[Otto Immanuel Spear]