Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9781684580149 Published May 2020
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9781684580132 Published May 2020
E-book $24.99 ISBN: 9781684580156 Published June 2020

American Jewish Thought Since 1934

Writings on Identity, Engagement, and Belief

Edited by Michael Marmur and David Ellenson

American Jewish Thought Since 1934

Edited by Michael Marmur and David Ellenson

Distributed for Brandeis University Press

275 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $26.00 ISBN: 9781684580149 Published May 2020
Cloth $90.00 ISBN: 9781684580132 Published May 2020
E-book $24.99 ISBN: 9781684580156 Published June 2020
What is the role of Judaism and Jewish existence in America? And what role does America play in matters Jewish? This anthology considers these questions and offers a look at how the diverse body of Jewish thought developed within the historical and intellectual context of America.

In this volume, editors Michael Marmur and David Ellenson bring together the distinctive voices of those who have shaped the bold and shifting soundscape of American Jewish thought over the last few generations. The contributors tackle an array of topics including theological questions; loyalty and belonging; the significance of halakhic, spiritual, and ritual practice; secularization and its discontents; and the creative recasting of Jewish peoplehood. The editors are careful to point out how a plurality of approaches emerged in response to the fundamental ruptures and challenges of continuity posed by the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the civil rights movement in the twentieth century.

This volume also includes a wide swath of the most distinctive currents and movements over the last eighty years: post-Holocaust theology, secular forms of Jewish spirituality, ultra-orthodoxy, American neo-orthodoxy, neo-Hasidism, feminism and queer theory, diasporist critiques of Zionism, and Zionist militancy. This collection will serve as both a testament to the creativity of American Jewish thought so far, and as an inspiration for the new thinkers of its still unwritten future.
Contents
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS GENERAL INTRODUCTION 1. GOD INTRODUCTION 1. Mordecai Kaplan, The Future of the American Jew 2. Abraham Joshua Heschel, Man Is Not Alone 3. Hans Jonas, “The Concept of God After Auschwitz: A Jewish View” 4. Richard L. Rubenstein, After Auschwitz 5. Eliezer Berkovits, Faith After the Holocaust 6. Erich Fromm, You Shall Be As Gods 7. Marcia Falk, “Notes On Composing New Prayers: Toward a Feminist-Jewish Reconstruction of Prayer” 8. Edward L. Greenstein, “A Critique of Impersonal Prayer” 9. Sandra B. Lubarsky, “Reconstructing Divine Power” 10. Rebecca Alpert, “Location, Location, Location: Toward a Theology of Prepositions” 2. REVELATION AND COMMANDMENT INTRODUCTION 1. Marvin Fox, The Condition of Jewish Belief 2. Aharon Lichtenstein, The Condition of Jewish Belief 3. Will Herberg, Judaism and Modern Man 4. Jakob J. Petuchowski, “Revelation and the Modern Jew” 5. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Halakhic Man 6. Benjamin H. Sommer, Revelation and Authority 7. Tamar Ross, Expanding the Palace of Torah 8. Eugene B. Borowitz, Renewing the Covenant 9. Susan Handelman, “ ‘Crossing and Recrossing the Void’ ” 10. David Novak, “Is the Covenant a Bilateral Relationship?” 11. Mara Benjamin, The Obligated Self 12. Rachel Adler, Engendering Judaism 3. SPIRITUALITY INTRODUCTION 1. Arnold Jacob Wolf, “Against Spirituality” 2. Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Halakhic Man. 3. Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath 4. Arthur Green, Jewish Spirituality / Seek My Face, Speak My Name 5. Daniel C. Matt, God and the Big Bang 6. Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, Paradigm Shift 7. Marcia Prager, The Path of Blessing 8. Nancy Flam, “Healing the Spirit” 9. Arthur Waskow, Down-to-Earth Judaism 10. Sheila Weinberg, “Images of God: Closeness and Power” 4. HERMENEUTICS AND POLITICS INTRODUCTION 1. Michael Fishbane, Sacred Attunement 2. Steven Kepnes, The Future of Jewish Theology 3. Jose Faur, Golden Doves With Silver Dots 4. David Hartman, A Heart of Many Rooms 5. Leo Strauss, “Jerusalem and Athens” 6. Hannah Arendt, “The Jew as Pariah” 7. Michael Walzer, Exodus and Revolution 8. Mitchell Cohen, “In Defense of Shaatnez” 9. Jill Jacobs, There Shall Be No Needy 10. Meir Kahane, “Down With Chanukah!” 5. HOLOCAUST AND ISRAEL INTRODUCTION 1. Jacob Neusner, Stranger At Home 2. Joel Teitelbaum, Vayoel Moshe 3. Emil L. Fackenheim, The Jewish Return Into History and other excerpts 4. Eliezer Berkovitz, Faith After the Holocaust 5. David R. Blumenthal, Facing the Abusing God 6. Irving Greenberg, “The Ethics of Jewish Power Today” 7. Marc H. Ellis, Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation 8. Judith Butler, Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism 9. Ruth R. Wisse, Jews and Power 10. Daniel Boyarin & Jonathan Boyarin, “Diaspora” 11. Peter Beinart, The Crisis of Zionism 12. Editors of Commentary, “The Existential Necessity of Zionism After Paris” 6. FEMINISM AND GENDER INTRODUCTION 1. Susannah Heschel, On Being a Jewish Feminist 2. Cynthia Ozick, “Notes Toward Finding the Right Question” 3. Judith Plaskow, “The Right Question is Theological” 4. Blu Greenberg, On Women and Judaism 5. Rachel Adler, “I’ve Had Nothing Yet So I Can’t Take More” 6. Julia Watts Belser, “Making Room for the Divine She”/ “Privilege and Disaster” 7. Steve Greenberg, Wrestling With God and Men 8. Jay Michaelson, God vs. Gay? 9. Benay Lappe, “The New Rabbis” 10. Jane Rachel Litman, “Born To Be Wild” 11. Joy Ladin, The Soul of the Stranger 7. PEOPLEHOOD INTRODUCTION 1. Mordecai Kaplan, The Future of the American Jew 2. Simon Rawidowicz, “Israel: The Ever-Dying People” 3. George Steiner, “Our Homeland, The Text” 4. Arthur A. Cohen, Jewish Theology 5. Michael Wyschogrod, The Body of Faith 6. Judith Plaskow, Standing Again at Sinai 7. Shaul Magid, American Post-Judaism 8. Steven M. Cohen & Jack Wertheimer, “What Is So Great About Post-Ethnic Judaism” / “Whatever Happened to the Jewish People” 9. Arthur Hertzberg & Paula Hyman, Jewish Peoplehood: Where Do We Go From Here? 10. Dianne Cohler Esses, “A Common Language Between East and West” 11. Lewis Gordon, In Every Tongue 12. Noam Pianko, Jewish Peoplehood: An American Innovation
Review Quotes
Warren Zev Harvey, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
“An exciting kaleidoscopic book about the Jewish experience in America—beginning with the optimism, rationalism, and naturalism of Reconstructionism, and ending today with the conflicted debates about Israel, the Holocaust, gender, and the possibility of creating a vital American Jewish identity for tomorrow.”
 
Rabbi David Wolpe, Sinai Temple
“Marvelous for teaching, for learning. A wealth of modern Jewish thought to enrich the reader and evoke new reflections and directions.”
Rabbi Angela W. Buchdahl, Central Synagogue
“Preeminent scholars Ellenson and Marmur have both defined and expanded the canon with diverse voices exploring the biggest ideas in American Jewish thought. An essential addition to every Jewish library.”
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