Jewish Theology Unbound

Jewish Theology Unbound

by James A. Diamond


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Jewish Theology Unbound challenges the widespread misinterpretation of Judaism as a religion of law as opposed to theology. James A. Diamond provides close readings of the Bible, classical rabbinic texts, Jewish philosophers, and mystics from the ancient, medieval, and modern period, which communicate a profound Jewish philosophical theology on human nature, God, and the relationship between the two.

The study begins with an examination of questioning in the Hebrew Bible, demonstrating that what the Bible encourages is independent philosophical inquiry into how to situate oneself in the world ethically, spiritually, and teleologically. It explores such themes as the nature of God through the various names by which God is known in the Jewish intellectual tradition, love of others and of God, death, martyrdom, freedom, angels, the philosophical quest, the Holocaust, and the state of Israel, all in light of the Hebrew Bible and the way it is filtered through the rabbinic, philosophical, and mystical traditions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780198805694
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 6.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

James A. Diamond, Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Waterloo

James A. Diamond is Joseph and Wolf Lebovic Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Waterloo. His research focuses on medieval Jewish thought and philosophy. His book Maimonides and the Shaping of the Jewish Canon (2014) won the Canadian Jewish Literary Awards 2015.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Plotting and Subplotting Jewish Philosophical Theology
1. Unbinding a Jewish Philosophical Theology Out of the Past
2. Biblical Questioning and Divine Astonishment: Philosophy Begins in Anguish
3. Naming an Unnameable God: Divine Being or Divine Becoming
4. Using God's Name for the Mundane: Halakhic Expressions of Becoming
5. The Narrative Hell and Normative Bliss of Biblical Love
6. Biblical Knowing Toward Death: The Silent Sound of Dying for Others
7. The Original Jewish Debate over Religious Martyrdom
8. Angelic Encounters as Metaphysics
9. Freedom or Determinism? Constructs of the Slave as Ciphers for Free Will
10. A God That Ceased to Become, A Nation that May Have Ceased to Exist
Conclusion: Looking Beyond Jewish Death toward Rebirth

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