1903 – 1979
Who was Heinz Cassirer?
Heinrich Walter Cassirer was a Kantian philosopher, the son of a famous German philosopher, Ernst Cassirer. Being Jews, the Cassirer family fled the Nazis in the 1930s. Heinz went to University of Glasgow working with Professor H. J. Paton, who persuaded him to write a book on Kant's third Critique, the Critique of Judgment. Following Paton, he moved to Oxford, lecturing at Corpus Christi College.
He was a noted scholar on the thought of Kant. Cassirer, "translator and interpret of Kant, is reliably reported to have asked, ‘Why is it that this Swiss theologian understands Kant far better than any philosopher I have come across?’". While at Glasgow, his observations of society in Scotland led him to speak of "'Highland ravings' - the obsessive clinging on to what is wholly illusory".
As a middle-aged adult, reading the New Testament for the first time, Cassirer was struck by the writings of St. Paul in relation to ethics. As he studied, he committed himself to the Christian faith. He produced a translation of the New Testament from the Greek sources, titled God's New Covenant: A New Testament Translation. His own Jewish heritage and knowledge of Jewish customs is said to have given a unique insight into familiar Bible texts. His translation is also noted for its formal language. Below is a sample passage, Matthew 7:24.
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