Reasoning After Revelation: Dialogues in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy

Front Cover
Westview Press, Dec 8, 2000 - Religion - 163 pages
0 Reviews
Postmodern Jewish thinkers understand their Jewishness differently, but they all share a fidelity to what they call the “Torah” and to communal practices of reading and social action that have their bases in rabbinic interpretations of biblical narrative, law, and belief. Thus, postmodern Jewish thinking is thinking about God, Jews, and the world—with the texts of the Torah—in the company of fellow seekers and believers. It utilizes the tools of philosophy, but without their modern premises. Moreover, this form of Jewish thinking provides resources for philosophically disciplined readings of scripture by Jews, Christians, and Moslems seeking alternatives to the reductive discourses of secular academia, on the one hand, and to antimodern religious fundamentalisms, on the other. Postmodern Jewish Philosophy aims to utilize rabbinic modes of thinking to provide a model for ethical and religious thought in the twenty-first century, one which moves beyond the dichotomy of relativism and imperialism and is simultaneously definite and pluralistic.In Reasoning After Revelation: Dialogues in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy, three preeminent Jewish scholars debate the form and meaning of Postmodern Jewish Philosophy after the failures of the great secular ideologies of modern western civilization. Emulating the methods as well as the premises of Talmudic argumentation, the authors present their responses as dialogues joined by a common love of the rabbinic tradition of commentary and interpretation of the Bible. The composers, Peter Ochs, Robert Gibbs, and Steven Kepnes, contemplate where Judaism has been—and where it is headed: on what basis will modern Jews now reason about the meaning of Jewish existence and the relevance of age-old Biblical traditions to the moral and social crises of the twenty-first century? The dialogues are further enriched by a set of responses from leading Jewish philosophers: Elliot R. Wolfson, Edith Wyschogrod, Almut Sh. Bruckstein, Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, and Susan E. Shapiro.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introductions
1
PART
9
Monologic Definitions
17
Dialogic Practices
29
Toward a Dialogic Postmodern
67
Notes
75
Thinking About the Holocaust
84
A Response
93
Suffering Textually for the Text of Suffering
101
Continental Links to the American Debate
107
Cohens New Thinking and Rosenzweigs Sprachdenken
116
Epilogue
137
About the Contributors
155
Copyright

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 64 - The face is a living presence ; it is expression. The life of expression consists in undoing the form in which the existent, exposed as a theme, is thereby dissimulated. The face speaks. The manifestation of the face is already discourse. He who manifests himself comes, according to Plato's expression, to his own assistance. He at each instant undoes the form he presents.
Page 63 - So that the very phenomenon of suffering in its uselessness is, in principle the pain of the Other. For an ethical sensibility — confirming itself, in the inhumanity of our time, against this inhumanity — the justification of the neighbor's pain is certainly the source of all immorality.
Page 62 - Our mother Rachel came forward before the Holy One, blessed be He, and said: "Master of the universe, it is clearly known to you how your servant Jacob loved me with an exceeding love, and worked seven years for my father for me, and when he had completed those seven years, and the time came for my marriage to my husband, my father took counsel, and gave my sister to my husband in my stead. And it...
Page iii - return to the text," which means a commitment to displaying the richness and wisdom of traditions that are at once text based, hermeneutical, and oriented to communal practice. Books in this series offer the opportunity to speak openly with practitioners of other faiths or even with those who profess no (or limited) faith, both academics and nonacademics, about the ways religious traditions address pivotal issues of the day. Unfettered by foundationalist preoccupations, these books represent a call...
Page ii - RADICAL TRADITIONS cuts new lines of inquiry across a confused array of debates concerning the place of theology in modernity and, more generally, the status and role of scriptural faith in contemporary life. Charged with a rejuvenated confidence, spawned in part by the rediscovery of reason as inescapably...
Page iii - Charged with a rejuvenated confidence, spawned in part by the rediscovery of reason as inescapably tradition-constituted, a new generation of theologians and religious scholars is returning to scriptural traditions with the hope of retrieving resources long ignored, depreciated, and in many cases ideologically suppressed by modern habits of thought. RADICAL TRADITIONS assembles a promising matrix of strategies, disciplines, and lines of thought that invites Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theologians...
Page 48 - Thus said the Lord: Observe what is right and do what is just; For soon My salvation shall come, And My deliverance be revealed. Happy is the man who does this, The man who holds fast to it: Who keeps the sabbath and does not profane it, And stays his hand from doing any evil.
Page 63 - For an ethical sensibility - confirming itself, in the inhumanity of our time, against this inhumanity - the justification of the neighbour's pain is certainly the source of all immorality. Accusing oneself in suffering is undoubtedly the very turning back of the ego to itself. It is perhaps thus; and the for-theother - the most upright relation to the Other - is the most profound adventure of subjectivity, its ultimate intimacy.

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2000)

Steven Kepnes is associate professor of philosophy and religion and director of Jewish Studies at Colgate University. He was a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University and at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies from 1993 to 1995. He is author of Interpreting Judaism in a Postmodern Age; The Text as Thou: Martin Buber’s Dialogical Hermeneutics and Narrative Theology and coeditor, with David Tracy, of The Challenge of Psychology to Faith. His articles on Jewish thought have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Jewish Studies, Soundings, and the Harvard Theological Review. He is also Judaism editor for Religious Studies Review. Peter Ochs is the Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia, and co-founder of the Societies for Textual Reasoning, and for Scriptural Reasoning. He is the author of Pierce, Pragmatism, and the Logic of Scripture, and the coauthor of Reviewing the Covenant: Eugene Borowitz and the Postmodern Renewal of Theology. He is the author or editor of a number of works on the relations between rabbinic and American varieties of pragmatism and semiotics, and between Jewish and Christian theologies. Robert Gibbs teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Correlations in Rosenzweig and Levinas, and most recently of Why Ethics: Signs of Responsibilities. His work addresses Jewish Philosophy in the tradition of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas and engages both contemporary Continental thought and American pragmatism. Tikva Frymer-Kensky is Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto. Peter Ochs is the Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia. David Sandmel is the Jewish Scholar at the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies in Baltimore. Michael A. Signer is Abrams Professor of Jewish Thought and Culture in the Department of Theology at University of Notre Dame. Steven Kepnes is associate professor of philosophy and religion and director of Jewish Studies at Colgate University. He was a visiting scholar at the Hebrew University and at the Shalom Hartman Institute for Advanced Jewish Studies from 1993 to 1995. He is author of Interpreting Judaism in a Postmodern Age; The Text as Thou: Martin Buber’s Dialogical Hermeneutics and Narrative Theology and coeditor, with David Tracy, of The Challenge of Psychology to Faith. His articles on Jewish thought have appeared in such journals as the Journal of Jewish Studies, Soundings, and the Harvard Theological Review. He is also Judaism editor for Religious Studies Review. Peter Ochs is the Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia, and co-founder of the Societies for Textual Reasoning, and for Scriptural Reasoning. He is the author of Pierce, Pragmatism, and the Logic of Scripture, and the coauthor of Reviewing the Covenant: Eugene Borowitz and the Postmodern Renewal of Theology. He is the author or editor of a number of works on the relations between rabbinic and American varieties of pragmatism and semiotics, and between Jewish and Christian theologies. Robert Gibbs teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Correlations in Rosenzweig and Levinas, and most recently of Why Ethics: Signs of Responsibilities. His work addresses Jewish Philosophy in the tradition of Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber, and Emmanuel Levinas and engages both contemporary Continental thought and American pragmatism.

Bibliographic information