Creating a Judaism Without Religion: A Postmodern Jewish Possibility

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Overview

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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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