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Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief

Overview

At every critical juncture in Jewish history, Jews have understood a dynamic theology to be essential for a vital Jewish community. This important collection sets the next stage of Jewish theological thought, bringing together a cross section of interesting new voices from all movements in Judaism to inspire and stimulate discussion now and in the years to come.

Provocative and wide-ranging, these invigorating and creative insights from a new generation's thought leaders provide...

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Overview

At every critical juncture in Jewish history, Jews have understood a dynamic theology to be essential for a vital Jewish community. This important collection sets the next stage of Jewish theological thought, bringing together a cross section of interesting new voices from all movements in Judaism to inspire and stimulate discussion now and in the years to come.

Provocative and wide-ranging, these invigorating and creative insights from a new generation's thought leaders provide a coherent and inspiring picture of Jewish belief in our time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Demonstrates that there is not only a future to the Jewish theological enterprise in America but an exciting, fully realized, and challenging future. Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan would be thrilled. This book belongs on the shelf of every serious student of Jewish thought."
Rabbi Neil Gillman, PhD, Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Emeritus Professor of Jewish Philosophy, The Jewish Theological Seminary; author, Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah and Israel in Modern Judaism

“The Jewish conversation about God has continued for thousands of years. The wonderful collection of new voices represented in [this book] enriches not only the conversation but also the reader who will discover how rich, varied, and meaningful that conversation can be.”
Rabbi Laura Geller, senior rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

“Intellectually and spiritually exhilarating. Indeed, it augurs well for the future of American Judaism.”
Paul Mendes-Flohr, PhD, professor of Jewish thought, University of Chicago Divinity School; professor emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580234139
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Publication date: 5/1/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,439,241
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 6.38 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi David J. Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and author of Why Faith Matters, among other books.

Rabbi Carole B. Balin, PhD, is professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is currently working on an updated version of the 1984 edition of Liberal Judaism with Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz and Frances W. Schwartz.

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL (www.bradartson.com), an inspiring speaker and educator, holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is vice president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the philosophy department, supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. He is also dean of Zecharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany, ordaining rabbis for the European Union. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is author of many articles and books, including God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, is available to speak on the following topics:

• Almighty? No Way! Loving the God You Actually Believe in

• What I Learned Ordaining and Installing Uganda's First African Rabbi (and Sailing up the Nile!)

• All God's Children: Sharing Life with My Autistic Son

• Embracing the World: Science and Religion

• Jewish Continuity: What's in It for Me?

Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, PhD, is a rabbi and scholar who was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a PhD in
Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the Shalom
Hartman Institute's director of lay leadership education and co-director of its North American Scholars Circle. She is also a member of the faculty of
HUC–JIR, Jerusalem, and teaches in communities throughout North
America. She is co-author of two books, Striving Toward Virtue and Preparing
Your Heart for the High Holidays
, and author of many articles and rituals.
She lives outside Jerusalem with her husband, Rabbi Ofer Sabath
Beit-Halachmi, and their children, Tehillah and Yedidya.

Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, PhD, serves as congregational scholar at Congregation
Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York. He received his PhD in Jewish history from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi
Bronstein has taught in a variety of forums, from synagogues to the Association for Jewish Studies, the Center for Jewish History, and The Jewish
Theological Seminary. His writing has been featured in popular and academic publications, including The Forward, JEWCY, Central Conference of
American Rabbis Journal
, and Jews and American Popular Culture and The
Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History, and Culture.

Simon Cooper, PhD, earned his doctoral degree in contemporary covenantal thought at King's College, London. He is a teaching fellow at the London
School of Jewish Studies and is also editorial assistant for the Journal of
Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, is rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He received his masters of Hebrew letters from American Jewish University, studied at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem, and was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate in the history of Judaism from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Rabbi Jonathan Crane, PhD, a former Wexner Graduate Fellow at Hebrew
Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, is a visiting instructor at the
University of Toronto. His scholarship focuses on contemporary Jewish thought, law, and ethics.

Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum is interim rabbi serving alongside Rabbi
Gordon Tucker at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York. She is the designated associate dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in
Jerusalem; former rabbi of congregation Magen Avraham Omer in the
Israeli Negev; former vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel;
serves on the boards of several organizations working to achieve religious pluralism in Israel; and is a writer of contemporary Hebrew poetry and thought. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two daughters.

Eitan Fishbane, PhD, a frequent scholar-in-residence and guest speaker at congregations across North America, is assistant professor of Jewish thought at The Jewish Theological Seminary; author of As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford University Press); and co-editor of Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections (Jewish Lights).

Eitan Fishbane is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Shabbat
  • Prayer
  • Spirituality
  • God and Theology
  • Mysticism
  • Ethics
  • Torah

Jeremy Gordon is rabbi of New London Synagogue, England. He blogs at www.rabbionanarrowbridge.blogspot.com.

Rabbi Shai Held is cofounder, rosh ha-yeshiva, and chair in Jewish thought at
Mechon Hadar in New York City. He is completing a doctoral dissertation on the religious thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel at Harvard University. He contributed to Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and
Future of Jewish Belief
(both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual practices, and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in
Jerusalem. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago in
Jewish mysticism and has taught Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish spiritual practices in a variety of settings in America and Israel.

Jeremy Kalmanofsky is rabbi of congregation Ansche Chesed in New York City.
He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His articles have appeared in a variety of Jewish journals, as well as in Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in
Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish
Belief
(both Jewish Lights). He serves on the editorial board of Conservative Judaism,
and is a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the
Conservative movement.

Rabbi Naamah Kelman is dean of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion in Jerusalem. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in
Israel for over three decades. She is active in feminist causes and a staunch advocate of a Progressive, pluralistic, democratic Israel.

Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. On a Rhodes Scholarship, he completed an MPhil in medieval Arabic thought from Oxford University and did doctoral work at Oxford on Islamic fundamentalist attitudes toward Jews. He was ordained by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Yeshivas Brisk, and Yeshiva University. He is the incoming president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, succeeding Rabbi Avi Weiss.

Rabbi Michael Marmur, PhD, is assistant professor of Jewish theology and vice president for academic affairs at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC–JIR). He served for over ten years as dean of
HUC–JIR's Jerusalem School, and he is still based there. He specializes in the thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel.

Rabbi Evan Moffic is senior rabbi of Congregation Solel in Highland Park,
Illinois. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of
Religion, and graduated from Stanford University. In addition to Jewish thought, he has written on American Jewish history, on Zionism, and responsa related to conversion.

Leon A. Morris is the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, New York.
He is the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. He has contributed essays to the
Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Sh'ma, Jewish Week and Beliefnet, and has contributed a chapter entitled "Beyond Autonomy" in Platforms and
Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School of
The Jewish Theological Seminary and is the chairman and a senior lecturer in its Department of Professional Skills. He serves on the executive council,
joint placement commission, and law committee of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Previously he served as senior rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue in
Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Rabbi William Plevan is a graduate of the Rabbinical School of The Jewish
Theological Seminary and is currently a pursuing a doctorate in religion at
Princeton University, where he is writing his dissertation on Martin Buber's philosophical anthropology. In addition to Jewish thought, his interests include interfaith dialogue, ethics, and political theory.

Rabbi Or N. Rose is an associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is the coauthor of God in All Moments: Mystical and Practical Spiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters and coeditor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice; Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (all Jewish Lights).

Benjamin Sax, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Religion and Culture and director of the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in
Judaic Studies at Virginia Tech. He received his MA from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and PhD from the University of Chicago.

Marc B. Shapiro, PhD, is the Weinberg Chair of Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton. He is author of Between the Yeshiva World and Modern
Orthodoxy
and The Limits of Orthodox Theology, both of which were
National Jewish Book Award finalists.

Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD, is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as director of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University and as a visiting faculty member at Hebrew University and the Shalom Hartman
Institute. He is currently working on the Jewish Publication Society commentary on the book of Psalms. His first book, A Prophet Reads Scripture:
Allusion in Isaiah 40–66
, was awarded the Salo Wittmayer Baron Prize by the American Academy for Jewish Research. His second book, The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel, received the Jeremy Schnitzer Prize from the Association of Jewish Studies.

Rabbi Eliyahu Stern is assistant professor of modern Jewish intellectual and cultural history at Yale University. He is an American fellow of the Shalom
Hartman Institute and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University.
He is currently writing a book on Elijah of Vilna.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Rabbi David J. Wolpe Wolpe, Rabbi David J.

Preface Rabbi Carole B. Balin Balin, Rabbi Carole B.

Introduction

THE GOD IN PROCESS

I Will be Who I Will Be: A God of Dynamic Becoming Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson Artson, Rabbi Bradley Shavit 3

God as the Breath of Life Eitan Fishbane Fishbane, Eitan 11

Living and Dreaming with God Rabbi Shai Held Held, Rabbi Shai 17

Cosmic Theology and Earthly Religion Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky Kalmanofsky, Rabbi Jeremy 23

Non-dual Judaism Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels Jacobson-Maisels, Rabbi James 31

THE GODS OF THE TEXT

Open-Source Covenant Rabbi Jonathan Crane Crane, Rabbi Jonathan 43

More Theos, Less Ology Rabbi Jeremy Gordon Gordon, Rabbi Jeremy 50

A Progressive Reform Judaism Rabbi Evan Moffic Moffic, Rabbi Evan 56

Spiritual Mappings: A Jewish Understanding of Religious Diversity Rabbi Or N. Rose Rose, Rabbi Or N. 63

The Religion of Torah Benjamin D. Sommer Sommer, Benjamin D. 71

WAYS OF TALKING ABOUT GOD

Five Pillars of Orthodox Judaism or Open Charedism Rabbi Asher Lopatin Lopatin, Rabbi Asher 81

Toward a New Jewish Theological Lexicon Rabbi Michael Marmur Marmur, Rabbi Michael 86

Martin Buber: The Dialogue with God Rabbi William Plevan Plevan, Rabbi William 93

Radically Free and Radically Claimed: Toward the Next Stage of Liberal Jewish Theology Rabbi Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi Beit-Halachmi, Rabbi Rachel Sabath 102

Can Traditional Jewish Theology Still Speak to (Some of) Us? Marc B. Shapiro Shapiro, Marc B. 114

A QUEST FOR GOD

A Quest-Driven Faith Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove Cosgrove, Rabbi Elliot J. 123

Theological Proximity: The Quest for Intimacy with God Simon Cooper Cooper, Simon 129

Longing to Hear Again Rabbi Leon A. Morris Morris, Rabbi Leon A. 135

Walking the Walk Rabbi Daniel Nevins Nevins, Rabbi Daniel 143

On This Sacred Ground Rabbi Eliyahu Stern Stern, Rabbi Eliyahu 149

THE GOD IN BETWEEN

The Radical Divinity Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum Elad-Appelbaum, Rabbi Tamar 159

How I Came to Theology, or Didn't Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein Bronstein, Rabbi Daniel M. 170

The Theology of the In-Between Benjamin Sax Sax, Benjamin 175

First Fruits of the Seasons of Hope and Renewal Rabbi Naamah Kelman Kelman, Rabbi Naamah 183

Afterword 188

Notes 192

Suggestions for Further Reading 198

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