Judaism As a Civilization

Judaism As a Civilization



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Judaism As a Civilization by Mordecai Menahem Kaplan, Mordecai Menaheim Kaplan

Mordecai Kaplan is regarded as one of the twentieth century's foremost philosophers and interpreters of Jewish thought. He is the creator, and for generations the guiding spirit, of the Reconstructionist philosophy of Judaism.

Through his writings and teachings, he has helped to mold the structure of many American Jewish institutions, providing the American Jewish consciousness with a new vocabulary and a series of challenging value concepts. There are countless institutions that we now take for granted which were created by Mordecai Kaplan, including the synagogue center and the Bat Mitzvah.

Judaism as a Civilization remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions toward creating a comprehensive program for creative Jewish life. In this seminal work, Kaplan offers his now famous concept of Judaism as an evolving religious civilization. For Judaism to survive and grow, Jews must continue to reconstruct their heritage in response to changes in social, political, and cultural conditions, producing new literature and liturgy, adding and eliminating customs and traditions. All Jews -- traditional and liberal, religious and secular -- can play a part in that reconstruction.

Judaism as a Civilization is indeed a Jewish classic, worthy of its place in the succession of classic texts that have made the rabbinic tradition a way of life for the Jewish people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780827605299
Publisher: Jewish Publication Society
Publication date: 09/01/1994
Pages: 640
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.54(d)

Table of Contents

Kaplan's Judaism at Sixty: A Reappraisalxi
Preface to the 1967 Editionxxv
Preface to the 1957 Editionxxvii
Preface to the 1934 Editionxxix
Introduction to the 1981 Editionxxxiii
I.The Present Crisis in Judaism3
Part 1.The Factors in the Crisis
A.The Factors of Disintegration
II.The Modern Political Order19
III.The Modern Economic Order28
IV.The Modern Ideology36
B.The Factors of Conservation
V.Inherent Factor of Conservation47
VI.Environmental Factors of Conservation70
C.The Decisive Factor
VII.Needed: A Program of Reconstruction80
Part 2.The Current Versions of Judaism
VIII.The Reformist Version of Judaism91
IX.Critique of the Reformist Version of Judaism108
X.Conservative Judaism (Right Wing of Reformism)126
XI.The Neo-Orthodox Version of Judaism133
XII.Critique of Neo-Orthodoxy151
XIII.Conservative Judaism (Left Wing of Neo-Orthodoxy)160
Part 3.The Proposed Version of Judaism
XIV.Judaism as a Civilization173
XV.Constituent Elements of Judaism as a Civilization186
XVI.Implications of the Proposed Version of Judaism209
Part 4.Israel. the Status and Organization of Jewry
XVII.The Nationhood of Israel227
XVIII.Nationalism as a Cultural Concept242
XIX.Cultural Nationalism as the Call of the Spirit253
XX.The Land of Israel264
XXI.Jewish Communal Organization280
Part 5.God. the Development of the Jewish Religion
XXII.Introductory. the Need for Reorientation to the Problem of Religion303
XXIII.The Place of Religion in Jewish Life311
XXIV.The Folk Aspect of the Jewish Religion332
XXV.The Past Stages of the Jewish Religion350
XXVI.The Functional Method of Interpretation385
Part 6.Torah. Judaism as a Way of Life for the American Jew
XXVII.Introductory. Torah as a Way of Life409
XXVIII.Jewish Milieu416
XXIX.Jewish Folkways431
XXX.Jewish Ethics460
XXXI.The Meaning of Jewish Education in America479
XXXII.Creative Judaism--A Program511

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