Interim Judaism: Jewish Thought in a Century of Crisis

Interim Judaism: Jewish Thought in a Century of Crisis

English | 2001 | ISBN: 0253214416 | 128 Pages | PDF | 1 MB

The three chapters in this book - the 1999 Samuel Goldenson Lectures delivered at Hebrew Union College - reveal the cumulative knowledge of a core debate in Judaism on the dilemma between reason and revelation and its effect on contemporary American Jewish life and thought. Morgan (philosophy and Jewish studies, Indiana Univ.) focuses on three strands of intellectual fabric, namely, the problem of objectivity, the question of transcendence in the human experience, and the view of redemption in historical life, which he calls the problem of messianism and politics. Through a variety of sources and spokespeople, Jew and non-Jew, he stitches religious, political, and philosophical thinking through patches of history and eternity, but there is no clear pattern showing whether the religionist (fundamentalist, existentialist) or the modernist (humanist, naturalist, secularist) patch came from the original cloth. The hand that weaves Jewish civilization, is it divine or human or both? What is seen in American Judaism at the start of a new century is a pragmatic Judaism less of rationalism and more of spirituality without clear concepts of redemption and revelation, made necessary by Auschwitz and Zion. Why? The former eclipsed biblical monotheism and rabbinic Geistesgeschichte, and the latter provided a legitimate and justified Jewish return to history. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and researchers.Z. Garber, Los Angeles Valley College, Choice, December 2001

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