Mordecai M. Kaplan, the founder of the Reconstructionist movement, was the most influential and controversial radical Jewish thinker in the 20th century. Examining the intellectual influences that prompted Kaplan to reject fundamental Orthodox precepts, Jeffrey S. Gurock and Jacob J. Schacter ask a question crucial to the understanding of any religion: can an established religious group learn from a heretic who has rejected its most fundamental beliefs? More than a biography, "A Modern Heretic and a Traditional Community" is also a social history of American Orthodoxy and of American Judaism over the last century. It demonstrates the wide range of beliefs and practices Orthodoxy allowed in America and makes a distinct contribution to the fabric of American social history, Judaism and the history of religion in the United States.
Jeffrey S. Gurock, Libby M. Klaperman Professor of Jewish History at Yeshiva University, is the author of When Harlem Was Jewish, 1870-1930 and The Men and Women of Yeshiva, both published by Columbia.Jacob J. Schacter is rabbi of the Jewish Center in New York City. Editor of the The Torah u-Madda Journal and Jewish Tradition and the Nontraditional Jew, he is also an author of numerous articles on early modern and contemporary Jewish life.
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- ID: 9780231106276
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