Faith Finding Meaning: A Theology of Judaism

Faith Finding Meaning: A Theology of Judaism

by Byron L Sherwin
Pub. Date:
Oxford University Press, USA
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Faith Finding Meaning: A Theology of Judaism

Over four decades ago, the pre-eminent Jewish theologian, Abraham Joshua Heschel, warned of a "second Holocaust" - a spiritual genocide against Judaism that American Jews were perpetrating on themselves. By engaging in assimilation and secularization, he argued, Jews were losing their religious identity and, through it, their identity as a people. In Faith Finding Meaning, Byron L. Sherwin makes the case for a return to Jewish theology as a foundation for restoring Jewish authenticity and for reversing self-destructive assimilationist trends.

Rather than focusing on the abstract theological concepts presented by Judaism, such as the existence and nature of God, Sherwin shifts the center of the discussion to the quest for individual meaning. As more Jews seek to affirm Judaism as a faith, they are increasingly asking two questions: What is Judaism? How does Judaism address my quest for meaning? This volume constructs a portrait of the Jewish faith that is deeply rooted in both classical and modern sources of Jewish thought. Jewish theological thinking can be understood as a response to such visceral existential issues as living in a covenantal relationship, finding God in the world, approaching sacred scripture, and committing ethical deeds. Finding this sort of individual meaning through Jewish theology is, Sherwin argues, the viable path by which Jews in the contemporary world can maintain identity amid assimilation.

Faith Finding Meaning will engage anyone seeking a refreshing new approach to interpreting Jewish theology and a guide for faithful living as the Jewish people move into the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195336238
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date: 11/09/2009
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents

1 From Crypto-Jews to Crypto-Judaism 3

2 Substitute Faiths 21

3 The Nature of Jewish Theology 39

4 Faith Finding Meaning 65

5 Living in the Covenant 87

6 Rendezvous with God 103

7 Meaning Despite Evil and Absurdity 125

8 Hope Despite Experience 145

Notes 163

Bibliography 189

Index 203

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