Doing Jewish Theology

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

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An Intellectually Rich and Challenging Exploration of Modern Jewish Theology "How we deal with revelation determines how we handle the issue of authority in belief and practice. How we understand authority determines how we deal with the claims of the tradition on us; how we deal with those claims determines how we shape our own Judaism. That conclusion opens the gate to a reconsideration of all of Judaism's theology, in particular how we understand God, for God is at the heart of Torah." --from the Introduction With clarity and passion, award-winning teacher, author and theologian Neil Gillman captures the power of Jewish theological claims and reveals extraordinary insights into Jewish identity, the purpose of religion, and our relationship with God. Drawing from Judaism's sacred texts as well as great thinkers such as Mordecai Kaplan, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Paul Tillich, Gillman traces his theological journey over four decades of study, beginning with his own understanding of revelation. He explores the role of symbol and myth in our understanding of the nature of God and covenant. He examines the importance of community in both determining authority and sanctifying sacred space. By charting the development of his own personal theology, Gillman explores the evolution of Jewish thought and its implications for modern Jewish religious identity today and in the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 430.91g
  • Jewish Lights Publishing
  • Woodstock, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1580234399
  • 9781580234399
  • 904,392

Review quote

Neil Gillman has the stamp of the Jewish Theological Seminary running through him just like a stick of Blackpool rock; he started there as a student in 1954, obtained semikhah in 1960, and has been a teacher there ever since. During his student days he was privileged to study with some giants, Will Herberg, Louis Finkelstein, Mordecai Kaplan and Abraham Joshua Heschel, to name but three. What suffuses all of Gillman's writing is an enthusiasm and eagerness for knowledge that is remarkably fresh, considering his years and experience, and he notes in the introduction that he has started an engagement with neuroscience in an attempt to understand how the brain s processes can/may lead to an appreciation of God. Doing Jewish Theology, as its title implies, is divided into three sections: God, in which Gillman engages with a range of related issues, including faith in God, the dynamics of prophecy as expressed in the writings of Heschel, and the concept of the afterlife and bodily resurrection. In Torah, the latter two of the four subsections are especially interesting, dealing with the religious education of American rabbis (an essay that has multiple applications on this side of the Atlantic too) and the teaching of that iconic bible story, the Binding of Isaac. In Israel, Gillman considers the creation of a conservative theology for the 21st century and Judaism s theological and ritual resources for coping with chaos, not just in individual life but also in the life of a nation. Unsurprisingly for a teacher of his experience, Neil Gillman has a knack of expressing complex ideas with clarity, eloquence and encouragement to the reader to engage further, and this combines to make Doing Jewish Theology into a perfect book for lay person and rabbi, scholar and student alike. --Rabbi Dr Charles H Middleburgh"Liberal Judaism" (02/01/2009)"show more

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