Creating a Judaism Without Religion: A Postmodern Jewish Possibility

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.03
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 55%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $31.03   
  • New (6) from $31.03   


This book examines how some modern and contemporary Jewish thinkers and writers have imagined a Judaism without the boundaries and restrictions that go by the name of "religion." The book offers scholarly insights into some Jewish thinkers–notably Martin Buber and Eugene Borowitz, some Jewish writers–in particular the poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik and the Yiddish author I.L. Peretz. The study also introduces more contemporary thinkers and writers such as the postmodernist Jacques Derrida, the contemporary Israeli novelist David Grossman, and the young Israeli poet Ilan Sheinfeld. While of scholarly interest, the ten chapter work has more general appeal as a way of conceiving Jewish living outside the restrictions of religion. One third of the book suggests a way of looking at God and theology as part of the process of living rather than as fixed realities. Another third explores how Jewish culture can be liberated from the restrictions of nationalism and parochialism. The final third focuses on a postmodern ethics of the self that emerges from face to face meetings with others. The author contends that the future Judaism has created will be pluralistic, diverse, and oriented toward the future.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The Bookwatch
A welcome and recommended addition to Judaic Studies reading lists and academic reference collections. . .
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies
Creating a Judaism without Religion' is a necessary and helpful corrective to the bias toward theory that is prevalent in modern Jewish thought.
— Martin Kavka, Florida State University
Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal Of Jewish Studies - Martin Kavka
'Creating a Judaism without Religion' is a necessary and helpful corrective to the bias toward theory that is prevalent in modern Jewish thought.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761821045
  • Publisher: University Press of America
  • Publication date: 12/30/2001
  • Series: Studies in Judaism Series
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

S. Daniel Breslauer is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface: Before the Fall Chapter 2 Introduction: Creative Betrayal: Hasidism, Israeli Writers, and Martin Buber Chapter 3 Theology Without Religion: Chapter 4 Jewish Studies, Disciples of the Besht, and Responses to the Holocaust Chapter 5 A Possibility for Deconstruction of Revelation: The Case of Eugene B. Borowitz Chapter 6 Visions of the Messiah in Poetry, Theology, and Mysticism Chapter 7 Jewish Culture Without Religion: Chapter 8 Jewish Culture as Experiments in Variety: Some Reflections on Hayyim Nahman Bialik and Cultural Zionism Chapter 9 Anthological Betrayal: Bialik and the Jewish Book Chapter 10 Bialik, Agnon, and Ben Yehuda: Hebrew and the Individual's Spiritual Quest Chapter 11 Jewish Ethics Without Religion: Chapter 12 Negotiation as Theology: Reflections on Stories by I.L. Peretz, S.Y. Agnon, and Martin Buber Chapter 13 Considerations of Eisik ben Yekel of Crakow, Some Stories of I.L. Peretz, and the Meaning of Circumcision Chapter 14 The Limits of Covenant Theology, Instructive Poems by Ilan Sheinfeld, and the Subversive in Peretz Chapter 15 Selected Bibliography Chapter 16 Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)