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Jewish Theology in our Time: A New Generation Explores the Foundations and Future of Jewish Belief [Kindle Edition]

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove , Elliot J. Cosgrove
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A powerful and challenging examination of what Jews believe today—
by a new generation’s dynamic and innovative thinkers.

At every critical juncture in Jewish history, Jews have understood a dynamic theology to be essential for a vital Jewish community. This important collection sets the next stage of Jewish theological thought, bringing together a cross section of interesting new voices from all movements in Judaism to inspire and stimulate discussion now and in the years to come.

Provocative and wide-ranging, these invigorating and creative insights from a new generation’s thought leaders provide a coherent and inspiring picture of Jewish belief in our time.

Contributors: Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson, DHL • Rabbi Rachel Sabath • Beit-Halachmi, PhD • Rabbi Daniel M. Bronstein, PhD • Simon Cooper, PhD • Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD • Rabbi Jonathan Crane, PhD • Rabbi Tamar Elad-Appelbaum • Eitan Fishbane, PhD • Rabbi Jeremy Gordon • Rabbi Shai Held • Rabbi James Jacobson-Maisels • Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky • Rabbi Naamah Kelman • Rabbi Asher Lopatin • Rabbi Michael Marmur, PhD • Rabbi Evan Moffic • Rabbi Leon A. Morris • Rabbi Daniel Nevins • Rabbi William Plevan • Rabbi Or N. Rose • Benjamin Sax, PhD • Marc B. Shapiro, PhD • Benjamin D. Sommer, PhD • Rabbi Eliyahu Stern


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 “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 “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 Hill

About the Author

Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, PhD, is rabbi at Park Avenue Synagogue in Manhattan. He received his doctorate in the history of Judaism from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2050 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing (November 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DNWBTI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,634 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
(9)
4.7 out of 5 stars
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking ideas about Jewish theology 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
4.0 out of 5 stars Educational and exhillarating 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Commentary on Jusaism July 26, 2010
By Moish
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
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Good experience May 22, 2014
By JoA Day
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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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.

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