Guides For an Age of Confusion: Studies in the Thinking of Avraham Y. Kook and Mordecai M. Kaplan / Edition 2

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This book addresses the troubling questions confronting the modern Jewish worshiper by bringing to the reader the insights of twentieth-century Jewish theologians, as well as a variety of feminist theologians. By discussing these theologians, the author discusses a variety of obstacles to prayer: the inability to concentrate on the words and meaning of formal liturgies, the paucity of emotional involvement and lack of theological conviction among worshipers, and the anthropomorphic and, particularly, the masculine emphasis of prayer nomenclature. The result is a book of interest not just for Jewish worshipers but for anyone interested in the meaning of prayer and the modern approaches to it.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Arguing that for many people prayer is not a relevant activity, Cohen (Guide for an Age of Confusion) presents nine Jewish philosophers who sought an intellectual base for prayer. Their thinking includes rationalism, moral action, and prayers' function. The philosophers born earlier in the century are more aligned with the orthodox movement than those born later, who are here tied to more liberal movements. Still, Elie Munk's and Abraham Kook's philosophies are as unique as those of their liberal colleagues Eugene Borowitz and Lawrence Hoffman. One chapter discusses feminists' views of prayer, and the last chapter poses the question of prayer's relevance. Cohen shows that prayer is neither a recent concern nor a greater concern for one movement's philosophers than it is for another's. Rather, philosophers from each movement confront it as a part of their thinking. This thoughtful, general summary is concerned with stimulating readers to think about prayer. Readers interested in philosophy and theology, as well as those wishing to learn more about spirituality, will enjoy this book. Recommended for public and undergraduate libraries.--Naomi Hafter, Broward Cty. P.L., Ft. Lauderdale, FL Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
Cohen is a Reconstructionist rabbi who was born in America and is living in Jerusalem. Seeking to develop an intellectual basis for prayer, he explores the meaning of prayer and modern approaches to it, looking closely at the insights of such 20th-century Jewish theologians as Herman Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Avraham Y. Kook, among others, as well as a variety of feminist theologians. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823220021
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1999
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 386
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in the United States, Jack J. Cohen is a Reconstructionis Rabbi living in Jerusalm, Israel.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Crisis of Prayer 1
1 Hermann Cohen 9
2 Franz Rosenzweig 25
3 Avraham Yitzhak HaKohen Kook 43
4 Mordecai M. Kaplan 60
5 Aaron Rote (Reb Arele) 80
6 Elie Munk 96
7 Abraham J. Heschel 109
8 Jakob J. Petuchowski 127
9 Eugene B. Borowitz 146
10 Lawrence A. Hoffman 164
11 Feminists 182
12 Can Prayer Be Revitalized? 200
Glossary 229
Index 235
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