From School Library Journal
With all the energy of an iconoclast of 1859 or 1927, R.D. Gold has pitched himself against the hyperliteralism of Orthodox Judaism, which is just as likely as conservative Islam and Fundamentalist Christianity to take the words of its scripture not just as holy writ but as bare, literal and inerrant fact. Gold patiently explores the not just scriptural literalism, but the notion of Mosaic authorship and "hidden codes" in the Torah and concludes with a vision of an illusion-free sense of religion.
"R. D. Gold is a fresh new voice, a witty and mordant guide through the moral and intellectual chaos of the tribalism and special pleading that is Orthodox Judaism - and, by extension, all religious fundamentalism. I enjoyed this book immensely. You will, too." - CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, world-renowned journalist, editor, and book critic, best-selling author of God Is Not Great, Thomas Jefferson: Author of America, and Thomas Paine's "Rights of Man": A Biography
"Bondage of the Mind is a strong, original, and very readable book that addresses an important topic in a clear and convincing manner - and it could not be more timely. It is not only for a Jewish audience or a liberal audience. I, myself, am a conservative columnist and former editor of a Catholic magazine, and I found the book captivating. Bondage of the Mind provocatively confronts issues of interest to everyone." - DINESH D'SOUZA, named by the New York Times Magazine as one of America's most influential conservative thinkers, best-selling author of What's So Great About America, The End of Racism, Illiberal Education, and What's So Great About Christianity
"There is no hotter topic in today's culture wars than science and religion. All the hot-button issues - evolution vs. creationism, stem cell research, separation of church and state - have their root in a literal reading of the holy scriptures, especially the Old Testament. Bondage of the Mind presents one of the clearest outlines of what we know about the true origins of these texts and what really happened in history. From this new beginning, so elegantly presented in this page-turning narrative, we can begin the process of cultural renewal. Bondage of the Mind is a must-read for anyone who cares about the future of humanity." - MICHAEL SHERMER, publisher of Skeptic magazine, noted columnist for Scientific American, author of How We Believe, The Science of Good and Evil, and Why Darwin Matters
"This compelling critique of literalist religion takes the case of Orthodox Judaism to prove a point of broad interest: Religion expresses humanity's aspiration, but fundamentalism is the enemy of rationality and freedom. The challenge to Orthodoxy is argued clearly and passionately - and convincingly. Bondage of the Mind is a very important book - indeed, the most important book of its kind in the last hundred years." - JACOB NEUSNER, one of the world's leading Jewish scholars and theologians, author of countless books, among them The Formation of the Jewish Intellect, Struggle for the Jewish Mind, and American Judaism: Adventure in Modernity
"Bondage of the Mind is a courageous critique of Jewish orthodoxies, the likes of which have not been framed since the early debates over the credibility of revealed religion in the nineteenth century." - DAVID H. AARON, professor of Hebrew Bible and History of Interpretation at the Hebrew Union College's Institute of Religion, author of Biblical Ambiguities: Metaphor, Semantics, and Divine Imagery.