Highlighting well-known Jewish thinkers from a very wide spectrum of opinion, the author addresses a range of issues, including: What makes a thinker Jewish? What makes modern Jewish thought modern? How have secular Jews integrated Jewish traditional thought with agnosticism? What do Orthodox thinkers have to teach non-Orthodox Jews and vice versa? Each chapter includes a short, judiciously chosen selection from the given author, along with questions to guide the reader through the material. Short biographical essays at the end of each chapter offer the reader recommendations for further readings and provide the low-down on which books are worth the reader's while. Introduction to Modern Jewish Thinkers represents a decade of the author's experience teaching students ranging from undergraduate age to their seventies. This is an ideal textbook for undergraduate classes.
Dr. Alan Levenson teaches Jewish history and thought at Siegal College.
1 Acknowledgments 2 Introduction Part 3 PART ONE - MODERN JUDAISM: ATTACK AND DEFENSE Chapter 4 SAMSON RAPHAEL HIRSCH'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: THE RECONCILIATION OF MODERNITY AND THE MITZVOT Chapter 5 BARUCH SPINOZA'S CRITIQUE OF TRADITIONAL RELIGION Chapter 6 MOSES MENDELSSOHN'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: BETWEEN REASON AND REVELATION Chapter 7 ABRAHAM GEIGER'S DEFENSE OF JUDAISM: CONTINUITY AND CHANGE Part 8 PART TWO - RECOVERING TRADITION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND THE COMMUNITY Chapter 9 MARTIN BUBER: RESTORING THE JEWISH INDIVIDUAL Chapter 10 FRANZ ROSENZWEIG: FROM ALIENATED EXISTENTIALIST TO BA'AL TESHUVAH Chapter 11 THEODOR HERZL: A JEWISH MODERNIST FROM WESTERN EUROPE Chapter 12 AHAD HA'AM (ASHER ZVI GINZBERG): A JEWISH MODERNIST FROM EASTERN EUROPE Chapter 13 MORDECAI KAPLAN: A SECULARIST (RE)CONSTRUCTS RELIGION Part 14 PART THREE - RECOVERING KEDUSHAH (THE SACRED) IN A PROFANE AGE 15 ISRAEL SALANTER: RESTORING "FEAR OF HEAVEN" TO HUMAN BEHAVIOR 16 ABRAHAM ISAAC KOOK: MYSTICISM AND NATIONALISM 17 JOSEPH SOLOVEITCHIK: HALACHAH AND EXISTENTIALISM 18 ABRAHAM JOSHUA HESCHEL: UNIVERSAL HASIDISM 19 CONCLUSION (MENDING THE WORLD/MENDING ISRAEL) 20 Index 21 About the Author