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Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding Hardcover – March 2, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“This wide-ranging but carefully organized collection of Jewish thought about other religions constitutes an indispensible resource for Jews and non-Jews engaged in interreligious relations today and for Jews seeking to develop a text-based contemporary Jewish theology of religions for our global world. Brill accompanies his lucid presentations of each approach with insightful critiques that will help guide their contemporary applications.”—Ruth Langer, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, Theology Department Associate Director, Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, Boston College

“Serious Jewish engagement with other religions has substantially deepened and widened in recent years, both stimulating and responding to an increasing interest in Judaism from within the other world religions. Brill’s book provides essential access to the classical sources within the Jewish tradition relevant to this encounter.”—Rabbi Dr. David Rosen, International Director of Interreligious Affairs, AJC

“This is an excellent work: reflective, engaging, well-written, and perhaps most important—timely. Brill knows both the theoretical foundations for interreligious dialogue and rabbinic approaches to ‘other religions.’ It is a fine piece of scholarship, and it is also creative in bringing together three fields of discourse in a way they have not before been aligned. It blends both traditional and modern thinking about interreligious dialogue, and it analyzes these materials convincingly.”—Nathan Katz, Professor of Religious Studies, Florida International University

About the Author

Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Professor in honor of Sister Rose Thering at Seton Hall University, where he teaches Jewish Studies in the Graduate Department of Jewish-Christian Studies. He is active in interfaith encounter. Brill is the author of Thinking God: The Mysticism of Rabbi Zadok of Lubllin.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (February 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230622267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230622265
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,378,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By AJL Reviews on January 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
An important book both in terms of scholarship and vision, Judaism and Other Religions by Alan Brill surveys Judaism's wide-ranging attitude toward other faiths as well as non-Jews in general. While an important piece of scholarship, the book is not merely an academic exercise. Brill recognizes the difficulties in many traditional sources (some of them extremely disturbing) that conflict with the ethics and reality of 21st Judaism. Rather than sweep these passages under the rug, Brill outlines strategies for Jews who want to remain true to traditional sources while interacting with the other 99.75% of the world. Brill's writing is concise and clear.
Daniel Scheide
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. E. M. Cohen on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Ben Zoma said: Who is wise? He who learns from all people, as it is said: `From all those who taught me I gained understanding (Psalms 119:99) - Pirkei Avot, Chapter 4, Mishna 1(a)
But what exactly did Ben Zoma mean by `all people'? Did he truly mean all people (Jews and Gentiles); or was he referring rather to all `Jewish' people?
Perhaps the more pressing question is no longer what did Ben Zoma mean, but what did the Rabbis of the past and today's Rabbis, interpret this verse to mean? Might it be an act of exegetic gymnastics to suggest that this verse constitutes a Talmudic endorsement of interfaith dialogue? Enter Rabbi Alan Brill and his 2010 publication Judaism and Other Religions.
At first I was disappointed that there were comparatively sparse references concerning Hinduism and Buddhism, with the majority of discussions centering on Christianity and Islam; until I discovered that his very next publication (currently in press) builds upon this current work and extends out into discussions concerning Judaism and World Religions (which includes the `Eastern' religions).
Rabbi Brill currently holds the Cooperman/Ross endowed chair of Jewish-Christian Studies at Seton University's Department of Religion; a title that itself evokes interfaith dialogue and cooperation.
Brill's (2010) Judaism and Other Religions endeavours to make both audible and comprehensible the cacophony of authoritative/representative historical and modern Jewish voices clamouring to be heard on matters pertaining to attitudes towards, and relations with, other faiths. However, the book swiftly and definitively moves beyond debates concerning the `pros and cons' of dialogue and instead asserts the pressing need to articulate (as clearly as possible) a Jewish Theology of other religions.
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