Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism

Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism

by Geoffrey Cantor
     
 

ISBN-10: 0226092771

ISBN-13: 9780226092775

Pub. Date: 11/15/2006

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed the life sciences and made profound claims about human origins and the human condition, topics often viewed as the prerogative of religion. As a result, evolution has provoked a wide variety of religious responses, ranging from angry rejection to enthusiastic acceptance. While Christian responses to evolution have been

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Overview

Darwin’s theory of evolution transformed the life sciences and made profound claims about human origins and the human condition, topics often viewed as the prerogative of religion. As a result, evolution has provoked a wide variety of religious responses, ranging from angry rejection to enthusiastic acceptance. While Christian responses to evolution have been studied extensively, little scholarly attention has been paid to Jewish reactions. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism is the first extended meditation on the Jewish engagement with this crucial and controversial theory.

The contributors to Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism—from several academic disciplines and two branches of the rabbinate—present case studies showing how Jewish discussions of evolution have been shaped by the intersections of faith, science, philosophy, and ideology in specific historical contexts. Furthermore, they examine how evolutionary theory has been deployed when characterizing Jews as a race, both by Zionists and by anti-Semites. Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism addresses historical and contemporary, as well as progressive and Orthodox, responses to evolution in America, Europe, and Israel, ultimately extending the history of Darwinism into new religious domains.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226092775
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
11/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Acknowledgments
Introduction
 
PART 1: HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON JEWISH RESPONSES TO EVOLUTION
Introduction to Part 1
1 Anglo-Jewish Responses to Evolution
  Geoffrey Cantor
2 Responses to Evolution by Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist   Rabbis in Twentieth-Century America
  Marc Swetlitz
3 “Practically, I Am a Fundamentalist”: Twentieth-Century Orthodox Jews   Contend with Evolution and Its Implications
  Ira Robinson
 
PART 2: SOCIAL USES OF EVOLUTION: ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM, AND ZIONISM
Introduction to Part 2
4 The Impact of Social Darwinism on Anti-Semitic Ideology in Germany and   Austria, 1860-1945
  Richard Weikart
5 The Evolution of Jewish Identity: Ignaz Zollschan between Jewish and   Aryan Race Theories, 1910-1945
  Paul Weindling
6 Zionism, Race, and Eugenics
  Raphael Falk
 
PART 3: EVOLUTION AND CONTEMPORARY JUDAISM
Introduction to Part 3
7 Crisis Management via Biblical Interpretation: Fundamentalism, Modern   Orthodoxy, and Genesis
  Shai Cherry
8 Torah and Madda? Evolution in the Jewish Educational Context
  Rena Selya
9 Modern Orthodoxy and Evolution: The Models of Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik   and Rabbi A. I. Kook
  Carl Feit
10 The Order of Creation and the Emerging God: Evolution and Divine Action in the Natural World
  Lawrence Troster
 
Suggested Reading
 
Index

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