Creating a Judaism Without Religion: A Postmodern Jewish Possibility

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University Press of America, 2001 - Religion - 256 pages
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This book examines how some modern and contemporary Jewish thinkers and writers have imagined a Judaism without the boundaries and restrictions that go by the name of "religion." The book offers scholarly insights into some Jewish thinkers notably Martin Buber and Eugene Borowitz, some Jewish writers in particular the poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik and the Yiddish author I.L. Peretz. The study also introduces more contemporary thinkers and writers such as the postmodernist Jacques Derrida, the contemporary Israeli novelist David Grossman, and the young Israeli poet Ilan Sheinfeld. While of scholarly interest, the ten chapter work has more general appeal as a way of conceiving Jewish living outside the restrictions of religion. One third of the book suggests a way of looking at God and theology as part of the process of living rather than as fixed realities. Another third explores how Jewish culture can be liberated from the restrictions of nationalism and parochialism. The final third focuses on a postmodern ethics of the self that emerges from face to face meetings with others. The author contends that the future Judaism has created will be pluralistic, diverse, and oriented toward the future."
 

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Contents

Creative Betrayal Hasidism Israeli Writers and Martin Buber
3
Jewish Studies Disciples of the Besht and Responses to the Holocaust
33
A Possibility for Destruction of Revelation The Case of Eugene B Borowitz
55
Visions of the Messiah in Poetry Theology and Mysticism
83
Jewish Culture as Experiments in Variety Some Reflections on Hayyim Nahman Blalik and Cultural Zionism
105
Anthological Betrayal Bialik and The Jewish Book
131
Bialik Agnon and Ben Yehuda Hebrew and the Individuals Spiritual Quest
153
Negotiation as Theology Reflections on Stories by IL Peretz SY Agnon and Martin Buber
181
Considerations of Eisik ben Yekel of Crakow Some stories of LLPeretz and the Meaning of Circumcision
201
The Limits of Covenant Theology Instructive Poems by Ilan Sheinfeld and the Subversive in Peretz
223
Bibliography
243
Index
253
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About the author (2001)

S. Daniel Breslauer is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas.

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