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.
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Abraham Heschel According Adam afﬁrms afterlife American Jewish American Jews articulate authentic become belief biblical Bratzlav Christian civil religion claim commandments commitment conversos covenant created creation creative crypto-Jews death deﬁned depth-theology descriptive theology divine ethics Eugene Borowitz evil and absurdity example ﬁnd ﬁrst Gershom Scholem Gersonides God’s halakhah Hasidic master Hayyim Hebrew identiﬁed individual Israel Jerusalem Jewish communal Jewish faith Jewish identity Jewish mystics Jewish philosophers Jewish Publication Society Jewish religious Jewish survival Jewish theology Jewry Judah Loew Kabbalah Kotzk living Louis Jacobs Maimonides medieval Jewish messianic redemption Midrash Rabbah Mishnah moral Moses nature nontheist observed one’s person philosophical theology question Rahhah relationship religion Sabbatean Search ofMan secular Sefer Shekhinah Sherwin signiﬁcant Sinai Solomon Schechter soul Spinoza spiritual Talmud Talmudic rabbis teachings theologian theological discourse theology of Judaism Tikkun Tikkun Olam Torah tradition trans University Press verse word York Zohar