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Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief Hardcover – May 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580234135
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580234139
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Demonstrates that there is not only a future to the Jewish theological enterprise in America but an exciting, fully realized, and challenging future. Abraham Joshua Heschel and Mordecai Kaplan would be thrilled. This book belongs on the shelf of every serious student of Jewish thought."
Rabbi Neil Gillman, PhD, Aaron Rabinowitz and Simon H. Rifkind Emeritus Professor of Jewish Philosophy, The Jewish Theological Seminary; author, Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah and Israel in Modern Judaism

“The Jewish conversation about God has continued for thousands of years. The wonderful collection of new voices represented in [this book] enriches not only the conversation but also the reader who will discover how rich, varied, and meaningful that conversation can be.”
Rabbi Laura Geller, senior rabbi, Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills

“Intellectually and spiritually exhilarating. Indeed, it augurs well for the future of American Judaism.”
Paul Mendes-Flohr, PhD, professor of Jewish thought, University of Chicago Divinity School; professor emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

About the Author

Rabbi David J. Wolpe is rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, and author of Why Faith Matters, among other books.



Rabbi Carole B. Balin, PhD, is professor of Jewish history at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. She is currently working on an updated version of the 1984 edition of Liberal Judaism with Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz and Frances W. Schwartz.



Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL (www.bradartson.com), an inspiring speaker and educator, holds the Abner and Roslyn Goldstine Dean's Chair of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies and is vice president of American Jewish University in Los Angeles. He is a member of the philosophy department, supervises the Miller Introduction to Judaism Program and mentors Camp Ramah in California. He is also dean of Zecharias Frankel College in Potsdam, Germany, ordaining rabbis for the European Union. A regular columnist for the Huffington Post, he is author of many articles and books, including God of Becoming and Relationship: The Dynamic Nature of Process Theology and Passing Life's Tests: Spiritual Reflections on the Trial of Abraham, the Binding of Isaac (both Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL, is available to speak on the following topics:

• Almighty? No Way! Loving the God You Actually Believe in

• What I Learned Ordaining and Installing Uganda's First African Rabbi (and Sailing up the Nile!)

• All God's Children: Sharing Life with My Autistic Son

• Embracing the World: Science and Religion

• Jewish Continuity: What's in It for Me?



Rachel Sabath Beit-Halachmi, PhD, is a rabbi and scholar who was ordained
at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and earned a PhD in
Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary. She is the Shalom
Hartman Institute's director of lay leadership education and co-director of
its North American Scholars Circle. She is also a member of the faculty of
HUC–JIR, Jerusalem, and teaches in communities throughout North
America. She is co-author of two books, Striving Toward Virtue and Preparing
Your Heart for the High Holidays
, and author of many articles and rituals.
She lives outside Jerusalem with her husband, Rabbi Ofer Sabath
Beit-Halachmi, and their children, Tehillah and Yedidya.



Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, PhD, serves as congregational scholar at Congregation
Beth Elohim in Brooklyn, New York. He received his PhD in Jewish
history from The Jewish Theological Seminary of America and was
ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion. Rabbi
Bronstein has taught in a variety of forums, from synagogues to the Association
for Jewish Studies, the Center for Jewish History, and The Jewish
Theological Seminary. His writing has been featured in popular and academic
publications, including The Forward, JEWCY, Central Conference of
American Rabbis Journal
, and Jews and American Popular Culture and The
Cambridge Dictionary of Jewish Religion, History, and Culture.



Simon Cooper, PhD, earned his doctoral degree in contemporary covenantal
thought at King's College, London. He is a teaching fellow at the London
School of Jewish Studies and is also editorial assistant for the Journal of
Jewish Studies.



Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, is rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He received his masters of Hebrew letters from American Jewish University, studied at the Schechter Institute of Judaic Studies in Jerusalem, and was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He received his doctorate in the history of Judaism from the University of Chicago Divinity School.



Rabbi Jonathan Crane, PhD, a former Wexner Graduate Fellow at Hebrew
Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, is a visiting instructor at the
University of Toronto. His scholarship focuses on contemporary Jewish
thought, law, and ethics.



Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum is interim rabbi serving alongside Rabbi
Gordon Tucker at Temple Israel Center in White Plains, New York. She is
the designated associate dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in
Jerusalem; former rabbi of congregation Magen Avraham Omer in the
Israeli Negev; former vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly in Israel;
serves on the boards of several organizations working to achieve religious
pluralism in Israel; and is a writer of contemporary Hebrew poetry and
thought. She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and two daughters.



Eitan Fishbane, PhD, a frequent scholar-in-residence and guest speaker at congregations across North America, is assistant professor of Jewish thought at The Jewish Theological Seminary; author of As Light Before Dawn: The Inner World of a Medieval Kabbalist (Stanford University Press); and co-editor of Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections (Jewish Lights).

Eitan Fishbane is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Shabbat
  • Prayer
  • Spirituality
  • God and Theology
  • Mysticism
  • Ethics
  • Torah


Jeremy Gordon is rabbi of New London Synagogue, England. He blogs at
www.rabbionanarrowbridge.blogspot.com.



Rabbi Shai Held is cofounder, rosh ha-yeshiva, and chair in Jewish thought at
Mechon Hadar in New York City. He is completing a doctoral dissertation on the
religious thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel at Harvard University. He contributed
to Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and
Future of Jewish Belief
(both Jewish Lights).



Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels teaches Jewish thought, mysticism, spiritual
practices, and meditation at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in
Jerusalem. He is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Chicago in
Jewish mysticism and has taught Judaism, Jewish mysticism, and Jewish
spiritual practices in a variety of settings in America and Israel.



Jeremy Kalmanofsky is rabbi of congregation Ansche Chesed in New York City.
He was ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His articles
have appeared in a variety of Jewish journals, as well as in Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Jewish Theology in
Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish
Belief
(both Jewish Lights). He serves on the editorial board of Conservative Judaism,
and is a member of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards of the
Conservative movement.



Rabbi Naamah Kelman is dean of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute
of Religion in Jerusalem. Born and raised in New York City, she has lived in
Israel for over three decades. She is active in feminist causes and a staunch
advocate of a Progressive, pluralistic, democratic Israel.



Rabbi Asher Lopatin is the spiritual leader of Anshe Sholom B'nai Israel Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in Chicago. On a Rhodes Scholarship, he completed an MPhil in medieval Arabic thought from Oxford University and did doctoral work at Oxford on Islamic fundamentalist attitudes toward Jews. He was ordained by Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik, Yeshivas Brisk, and Yeshiva University. He is the incoming president of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah, succeeding Rabbi Avi Weiss.



Rabbi Michael Marmur, PhD, is assistant professor of Jewish theology and
vice president for academic affairs at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute
of Religion (HUC–JIR). He served for over ten years as dean of
HUC–JIR's Jerusalem School, and he is still based there. He specializes in
the thought of Abraham Joshua Heschel.



Rabbi Evan Moffic is senior rabbi of Congregation Solel in Highland Park,
Illinois. He was ordained at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of
Religion, and graduated from Stanford University. In addition to Jewish
thought, he has written on American Jewish history, on Zionism, and
responsa related to conversion.



Leon A. Morris is the rabbi of Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, New York.
He is the founding director of the Skirball Center for Adult Jewish Learning
at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan. He has contributed essays to the
Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, Sh'ma, Jewish Week and Beliefnet, and
has contributed a chapter entitled "Beyond Autonomy" in Platforms and
Prayer Books: Theological and Liturgical Perspectives on Reform Judaism.



Rabbi Daniel Nevins is the Pearl Resnick Dean of The Rabbinical School of
The Jewish Theological Seminary and is the chairman and a senior lecturer
in its Department of Professional Skills. He serves on the executive council,
joint placement commission, and law committee of the Rabbinical Assembly.
Previously he served as senior rabbi of Adat Shalom Synagogue in
Farmington Hills, Michigan.



Rabbi William Plevan is a graduate of the Rabbinical School of The Jewish
Theological Seminary and is currently a pursuing a doctorate in religion at
Princeton University, where he is writing his dissertation on Martin Buber's
philosophical anthropology. In addition to Jewish thought, his interests
include interfaith dialogue, ethics, and political theory.



Rabbi Or N. Rose is an associate dean at the Rabbinical School of Hebrew College. He is the coauthor of God in All Moments: Mystical and Practical Spiritual Wisdom from Hasidic Masters and coeditor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice; Jewish Mysticism and the Spiritual Life: Classical Texts, Contemporary Reflections and Speaking Torah: Spiritual Teachings from around the Maggid's Table, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (all Jewish Lights).



Benjamin Sax, PhD, is assistant professor in the Department of Religion
and Culture and director of the Malcolm and Diane Rosenberg Program in
Judaic Studies at Virginia Tech. He received his MA from the Hebrew University
of Jerusalem and PhD from the University of Chicago.



Marc B. Shapiro, PhD, is the Weinberg Chair of Judaic Studies at the University
of Scranton. He is author of Between the Yeshiva World and Modern
Orthodoxy
and The Limits of Orthodox Theology, both of which were
National Jewish Book Award finalists.



Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD, is professor of Bible and ancient Semitic languages
at The Jewish Theological Seminary. Previously, he served as director
of the Crown Family Center for Jewish Studies at Northwestern University
and as a visiting faculty member at Hebrew University and the Shalom Hartman
Institute. He is currently working on the Jewish Publication Society
commentary on the book of Psalms. His first book, A Prophet Reads Scripture:
Allusion in Isaiah 40–66
, was awarded the Salo Wittmayer Baron Prize
by the American Academy for Jewish Research. His second book, The Bodies
of God and the World of Ancient Israel
, received the Jeremy Schnitzer Prize
from the Association of Jewish Studies.



Rabbi Eliyahu Stern is assistant professor of modern Jewish intellectual and
cultural history at Yale University. He is an American fellow of the Shalom
Hartman Institute and received rabbinic ordination from Yeshiva University.
He is currently writing a book on Elijah of Vilna.


More About the Author

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, Ph.D., is a leading voice in Judaism's Conservative Movement. He follows a tradition of distinguished rabbinical predecessors on the pulpit of Park Avenue Synagogue, including Rabbi Milton Steinberg, Rabbi Judah Nadich, and Rabbi David H. Lincoln. Ordained at The Jewish Theological Seminary in 1999, Rabbi Cosgrove earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago Divinity School. His dissertation on Rabbi Louis Jacobs, a leading Anglo-Jewish theologian of the 20th century, reflects his passion for the intersection of Jewish scholarship and faith. Rabbi Cosgrove is the author of four collections of selected sermons, In the Beginning (2009), An Everlasting Covenant (2010), Go Forth! (2011), and Hineni (2012). He is the editor of Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief. Rabbi Cosgrove is committed to building a caring community, fostering Jewish learning, and advancing social justice. He aspires to make Park Avenue Synagogue a true kehillah kedoshah, a sacred congregation where national Jewish conversations occur.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Israel Drazin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The number of non-Orthodox Jews is decreasing and many Orthodox Jews are turning from the practices of their parents toward the more fundamentalist views of their great grandparents. It is therefore a good time to rethink what Judaism means and try to show how the religion is relevant in our time. This volume, with two dozen articles from rabbis and scholars of all Jewish denominations, males and females, attempts to do so. The writers focus on different aspects of Judaism, such as its beliefs, morality, practices, and how the writers feels affected by their views of Judaism, and how they changed over time, and their ideas about God and how God functions in the universe, if at all. Each writer offers his or her own opinion. Thus, readers will find a wide spectrum of thought-provoking ideas.

For example, one writer asks how it is possible in the twenty-first century to believe that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and merciful, when it is clear that God did nothing to save the six million Jews during the holocaust. Certainly, the rabbi feels, a merciful God would not let innocent people be butchered if God has the power to save them. He, therefore, offers us a different concept of God. "I do not believe in an up-there/out-there God. God is the pervasive becoming ground of all." Then he explains what he means.

Another writer speaks of revelation being a dialogue where "mine is not the only voice. Participating in any dialogue requires me to be still and listen.... Part of our job in our Sinaitic dialogue is to be silent in God's presence, so that we can be open to God's voice and also the voices of the generations of servants who came before us." The writer then tells us how this is done.

A final example is from Dr. Marc B. Shapiro.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Walter Ziffer on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book review of JEWISH THEOLOGY IN OUR TIME: A new Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief. by Dr. Walter Ziffer. ("Religious Skeptic")

There is no unbiased book review and this one is no exception to the rule. Although most reviewers' goal is objectivity, being human means being subjective by nature.
"Jewish Theology In Our Time," edited by Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove is a timely and overdue book whose publication I applaud. As a collection of theological essays by rabbi/scholars, I was pleasantly surprised by their honesty and courage. Although in some cases no fresh ground is plowed, the majority of the contributions is meaningful and varied.
Before I select a few excerpts from these essays for further discussion let me join the editor in his disappointment that so few orthodox rabbis accepted his invitation to make a contribution to the volume. This regrettable lacuna results in the fact that most of the writers hail more or less from the left side of the Jewish theological spectrum.
What are some of the theological views expressed in the anthology? The one that stands out and was especially interesting and surprising to me was several rabbis' treatment of halakhah. No longer is halakhah seen here as essentially Jewish law to be rigorously followed. In the words of Rabbi Eliyahu Stern (p.151), "Instead of encountering halakhah as a form of coercive state law, we ought to see it as a commandment or perhaps, more accurately, as a something that "compels" us to take seriously our surrounding, our relationships, and the moral implications of our actions." This definition, in my opinion, is simply equivalent to ethics. Somewhat similar approaches to halakhah are advocated by a few other contributors.
On the reality of God, Rabbi Daniel M.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moish on July 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very interesting review by outstanding intellectuals. If you have been studying along conservative lines, this is a jump forward.What I have read was an awakening. I cannot wait to continue reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Jewish faith is over five thousand years old, and like anything that old, it has to change with the times. "Jewish Theology in Our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations & Future of Jewish Belief" is a discussion of the evolution of Jewish faith through the centuries and the Jewish search for understanding with God in the modern day. Many modern voices of the faith converge and provide an intellectual and scholarly read, making "Jewish Theology in Our Time" an intriguing and very highly recommended addition to any Judaic studies collection.
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By JoA Day on May 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Came as promised quickly no problems interesting read and very helpful to understanding change and impacts on theology whlle explaining the need for core values
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