Introduction To Modern Jewish Thinkers / Edition 2

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Overview

Highlighting well-known Jewish thinkers from a very wide spectrum of opinion, the author addresses a range of issues, including: What makes a thinker Jewish? What makes modern Jewish thought modern? How have secular Jews integrated Jewish traditional thought with agnosticism? What do Orthodox thinkers have to teach non-Orthodox Jews and vice versa? Each chapter includes a short, judiciously chosen selection from the given author, along with questions to guide the reader through the material. Short biographical essays at the end of each chapter offer the reader recommendations for further readings and provide the low-down on which books are worth the reader's while. Introduction to Modern Jewish Thinkers represents a decade of the author's experience teaching students ranging from undergraduate age to their seventies. This is an ideal textbook for undergraduate classes.

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Media Review
The book is an excellent sourcebook for understanding the modern thinkers behind the various strands of Jewish life, and is an artful blend of intellectual rigor and probing questions about the meaning of these thinkers for our own time. This anthology is an excellent book for college courses and adult Jewish learning. Prof. Levenson offers biographical background, historical context, a description of the author’s significance and contribution, focused passages in translation, study questions, and suggestions for further reading.
— Dov Peretz Elkins
Journal Of Jewish Studies
...a concise, accurate pen portrait of the thinker under scrutiny is followed by a description of his overall intellectual contribution....By the end of the book, the student will have a sound grounding in the major trends of Jewish thought over the last 350 years.
— Spring 2008
Rabbi Barbara Penzner
Every thinking Jew today is heir to Spinoza and Herzl, Buber and Rosenzweig, Kaplan and Heschel. Levenson has written an essential sourcebook for understanding the modern thinkers behind the various strands of Jewish life. Adult learners and university students alike will benefit from Levenson's artful blend of intellectual rigor and probing questions about the meaning of these thinkers for our own time.
David S. Ariel
Alan Levenson's anthology is the best textbook on modern Jewish thinkers available for college courses and adult Jewish learning today. He offers biographical background, historical context, a description of the author's significance and contribution, focused passages in translation, study questions, and suggestions for further reading. This book is at the top of my list for anyone who wishes to go back to the modern Jewish sources themselves.
Rabbi Amy Wallk Katz
Alan Levenson's…book is clear, concise, and easy to use. Levenson writes an excellent introductory essay on each thinker and his analysis of their philosophy is thoughtful.
Jewish Media Review - Dov Peretz Elkins
The book is an excellent sourcebook for understanding the modern thinkers behind the various strands of Jewish life, and is an artful blend of intellectual rigor and probing questions about the meaning of these thinkers for our own time. This anthology is an excellent book for college courses and adult Jewish learning. Prof. Levenson offers biographical background, historical context, a description of the author’s significance and contribution, focused passages in translation, study questions, and suggestions for further reading.
Journal Of Jewish Studies - Spring 2008
...a concise, accurate pen portrait of the thinker under scrutiny is followed by a description of his overall intellectual contribution....By the end of the book, the student will have a sound grounding in the major trends of Jewish thought over the last 350 years.
Susannah Heschel
Alan Levenson provides a superb introduction to the many varieties of Jewish self-understanding in the modern world. His presentation is remarkably clear and fascinating.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742546073
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 252
  • Sales rank: 837,477
  • Product dimensions: 0.57 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Alan Levenson teaches Jewish history and thought at Siegal College.

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Table of Contents

1 Acknowledgments 2 Introduction Part 3 PART ONE - MODERN JUDAISM: ATTACK AND DEFENSE Chapter 4 SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: THE RECONCILIATION OF MODERNITY AND THE MITZVOT Chapter 5 BARUCH SPINOZA'S CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL RELIGION Chapter 6 MOSES MENDELSSOHN'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: BETWEEN REASON AND REVELATION Chapter 7 ABRAHAM GEIGER'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE Part 8 PART TWO - RECOVERING TRADITION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COMMUNITY Chapter 9 MARTIN BUBER: RESTORING THE JEWISH INDIVIDUAL Chapter 10 FRANZ ROSENZWEIG: FROM ALIENATED EXISTENTIALIST TO BA'AL TESHUVAH Chapter 11 THEODOR HERZL: A JEWISH MODERNIST FROM WESTERN EUROPE Chapter 12 AHAD HA'AM (ASHER ZVI GINZBERG): A JEWISH MODERNIST FROM EASTERN EUROPE Chapter 13 MORDECAI KAPLAN: A SECULARIST (RE)CONSTRUCTS RELIGION Part 14 PART THREE - RECOVERING KEDUSHAH (THE SACRED) IN A PROFANE AGE 15 ISRAEL SALANTER: RESTORING "FEAR OF HEAVEN" TO HUMAN BEHAVIOR 16 ABRAHAM ISAAC KOOK: MYSTICISM AND NATIONALISM 17 JOSEPH SOLOVEITCHIK: HALACHAH AND EXISTENTIALISM 18 ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL: UNIVERSAL HASIDISM 19 CONCLUSION (MENDING THE WORLD/MENDING ISRAEL) 20 Index 21 About the Author

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