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Contemporary Jewish Theology

A Reader

Edited by Elliot N. Dorff and Louis E. Newman

Publication Date - 08 October 1998

ISBN: 9780195114676

538 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock


Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader presents the most comprehensive collection to date of Jewish religious writings from the latter half of this century. Featuring selections from both pre- and post-World War II thinkers, this carefully constructed anthology highlights the enormous range of theological viewpoints and methods that have characterized Jewish theological reflection in modern times. An extraordinarily rich compilation, it represents many different perspectives, including those of Orthodox thinkers and feminists, Israelis and Americans, rationalists and mystics, and post-modernists. Extensive introductions place these writings in historical and philosophical context and identify the fundamental continuities and tensions among contemporary Jewish thinkers.
Following a general introduction, the volume is organized into four parts. The first section includes representative selections from the major Jewish philosophers of the early twentieth century (Cohen, Rosenzweig, Buber, Kook, Kaplan, and Heschel). The second part includes recent essays on God, creation, revelation, redemption, covenant/chosenness, and law. The third section provides seminal essays on the Holocaust and the modern State of Israel, topics that have held tremendous importance for Jewish thinkers over the past few decades. The book concludes with a symposium on future directions in Jewish theology at the dawn of the twenty-first century, and also provides extensive suggestions for further reading.
Contemporary Jewish Theology: A Reader is designed as a companion volume to the editors' earlier book, Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality: A Reader (OUP, 1995). An exceptional introduction to contemporary Jewish thinking, it is an essential text for courses in Jewish thought and theology.


  • An ideal companion to the editors' previous book, Contemporary Jewish Ethics and Morality (OUP, 1995)
  • Includes a great diversity and range of writings
  • Features introductions to each reading which place the essays in historical context
  • Concludes with a symposium on future trends in Jewish theology
  • Incorporates extensive suggestions for further reading

Table of Contents

    I. Introduction
    1. An Incessantly Gushing Fountain: The Nature of Jewish Theology, Byron Sherwin
    II. Classical Theologians in the Twentieth Century: Approaches to God
    2. Religion of Reason Out of the Sources of Judaism, Hermann Cohen
    3. The Star of Redemption, Franz Rosenzweig
    4. I and Thou
    5. A Thirst for the Living God; and The Pangs of Cleansing, Abraham Isaac Kook
    6. God as the Power that Makes for Salvation, Mordecai Kaplan
    7. God in Search of Men, Abraham Joshua Heschel
    III. Contemporary Reflections on Traditional Themes
    A. God
    8. Belief in a Personal God: The Position of Liberal Supernaturalism, Louis Jacobs
    9. In Search of God, Elliot N. Dorff
    10. From God to Godliness: Proposal for a Predicate Theology, Harold M. Schulweis
    11. Toward a Feminist Jewish Reconstruction of Monotheism; and Further Thoughts on Liturgy as an Expression of Theology, Marcia Falk
    12. Jewish Feminist Theology, Ellen M. Umansky
    B. Creation
    13. The Wings of the Dove: Jewish Values, Science, and Halachah, David W. Weiss
    14. Seek My Face, Speak My Name, Arthur Green
    C. Revelation
    15. Revelation in the Jewish Tradition, Emanuel Levinas
    16. Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, Neil Gillman
    D. Redemption
    17. The Natural and the Supernatural Jew, Arthur A. Cohen
    18. On Jewish Eschatology, Steven Schwarzschild
    E. Covenant/Chosenness
    19. Renewing the Covenant, Eugene Borowitz
    20. The Election of Israel, David Novak
    21. The Body of Faith, Michael Wyschogrod
    22. Standing Again at Sinai, Judith Plaskow
    23. A Jewish Theology of Jewish Relations to Other Peoples, Elliot N. Dorff
    F. Law
    24. Halakhic Man, Joseph Soloveitchik
    25. Some Criteria for Modern Jewish Observance, Jakob J. Petuchowski
    26. Dynamics of Judaism, Robert Gordis
    27. Engendering Judaism, Rachel Adler
    IV. Two Pivotal Experiences in the Twentieth Century
    A. The Holocaust
    28. Faith after the Holocaust, Eliezer Berkovits
    29. After Auschwitz, Richard Rubenstein
    30. The Jewish Return into History; and To Mend the World, Emil Fackenheim
    31. Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire: Judaism, Christianity, and Modernity after the Holocaust, Irving Greenberg
    B. The State of Israel
    32. Exile as a Neurotic Solution, A.B. Yehoshua
    33. The Third Jewish Commonwealth, David Hartman
    34. The Religious and Moral Significance of the Redemption of Israel. Yeshayahu Leibowitz
    35. Beyond Innocence and Redemption, Marc Ellis
    V. Looking Toward the Future of Jewish Thought: A Symposium
    36. New Directions in Jewish Theology in America, Arthur Green
    37. Another Perspective on Theological Directions for the Jewish Future, Rebecca T. Alpert
    38. The Nature and Direction of Modern Jewish Theology: Some Thoughts Occasioned by Arthur Green, David Ellenson
    39. B'nei Ezra: An Introduction to Textual Reasoning, Peter Ochs
    Suggestions for Further Reading
    Biographical Sketches