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Eisen traces five key phenomena which have crucially influenced Jewish practice over the past two ...
Eisen traces five key phenomena which have crucially influenced Jewish practice over the past two centuries and which, he demonstrates, still figure prominently today: politics (state and social pressure to conform), explanation of the commandments (as reminders of universal truths), nostalgia (evocation of the ancestors), unending quest for authority (never found), and appeals to the sanctity of tradition (even in the course of its invention). More than simply a study of Jewish thought on customs and rituals, this pathbreaking book explores the central role that practice plays in Judaism's encounter with modernity and, indeed, in any religious or ethnic group's quest to articulate self-identity in an increasingly homogenized world.
Winner of the 1999 Koret Jewish Book Award for Thought and Philosophy.
|List of Illustrations|
|1||Founding Theories of Modernity and the Critique of Jewish Practice||23|
|2||Twentieth-Century Theories of Modernity and the Study of Jewish Practice||49|
|3||The Distinctiveness of Modern Jewish Practice||78|
|4||The Politics of Jewish Ritual Observance||107|
|5||New Reasons for Old Commandments: The Strategy of Symbolic Explanation||135|
|6||Nostalgia as Modern Jewish Mitzvah||156|
|7||Buber, Rosenzweig, and the Authority of the Commandments||188|
|8||The Reconstruction of Jewish Tradition in Twentieth-Century America||216|