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Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah & Israel in Modern Judaism 1st Edition

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1580233224
ISBN-10: 1580233228
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gillman, a National Jewish Book Award winner, explores the six basic themes of Judaism: How can we know anything about God? What can Judaism teach us about God? What is the source of authority for what we believe and how we live? What is Torah and why is it so sacred? What, if at all, is God’s role in human suffering? What happens to us after we die? Gillman submits that his identification with the thinking of Mordecai Kaplan and Paul Tillich represented his gradual shift toward religious naturalism. His book is one of the most enlightening studies of a complex subject. --George Cohen

Review

For the past twenty years Rabbi Neil Gillman has been one of the leading American thinkers on Jewish theological issues. This volume can be seen as a summing-up of his thought over the past decades, as he prepares to retire from the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary. The essays come from a variety of sources, including Sh'ma, Conservative Judaism, and other journals and books from the mid-1980s up to 2006.

The book is divided into sections on God, Torah and Israel, but is not rigorous in differentiating the topics. The first section contains a wonderful article on prophecy in the works of Heschel, and another on renewed interest in resurrection over the past half-century. In the second section Gilman discusses the role of the Jewish philosopher; this portion also includes an analysis of rabbinic education written in 1990. The third section focuses on the Conservative movement as it approaches its official centennial. It includes suggestions for establishing theological principles and "A New Aggadah" for the movement.

Rabbi Gillman's work is always worth reading. His essays give the serious reader food for thought. This book is recommended for academic libraries and Conservative synagogues, and also suggested for synagogues whose rabbis and members are interested in the ongoing flow of theological discussion.

(Fred Isaac Association of Jewish Libraries)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights; 1 edition (September 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580233228
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580233224
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.9 x 22.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #618,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful distillation of Gillman's thinking over the two decades since 'Sacred Fragments' was published. His honesty, rigor and authenticity are compelling. For anyone struggling with the tensions inherent in a liberal position, this is a must-read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rabbi Gillman explores a range of topics in Jewish theology. A good follow up for those who have already read his classic "Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew".
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Format: Hardcover
This book is dense, in the same way that Abraham Joshua Heschel's writing is dense. I found that I had to stop reading between section breaks to contemplate the writing. For me, that's a good thing, as it indicates a book that has challenged or enlightened me.

If you identify as a Conservative Jew I would consider this required reading. Gillman has the ability to make you think, regardless of whether you agree with his positions.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected a systematic theology, but instead got some excellent essays on aspects of Jewish thought about theology. Probably worth reading through, since Gillman makes the point that Jews don't 'do' systematic theology!
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