Judaism as a Civilization: Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life
Judaism as a Civilization is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, representing a watershed moment in modern Judaism. In this classic book, Mordecai Kaplan introduced a new way of looking at Judaism: as an evolving religious civilization. His approach required innovation in liturgy and ritual, elimination of obsolete customs, and adjustment in light of prevailing social, political, and cultural conditions. Kaplan felt that all Jews—traditional and liberal, religious and secular—could play a part in this “reconstruction.” Judaism as a Civilization, first published in 1934, remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions to modern Jewish thought.
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Initially published in 1934, Kaplan's book sets forth the basic tenets that marked his long career in Jewish philosophy. This edition contains the original text plus the introduction to all subsequent editions and an essay by scholar Arnold Eisen. Read full review
Part Two The Current Versions of Judaism