Two of the most pervasive aspects of modern Jewish life are interaction with people of other faiths and exposure to their beliefs to a degree unknown in the past. Jewish thinking regarding other religions has not succeeded in keeping pace with the contemporary realities that regularly confront most Jews, nor has it adequately assimilated the ways in which other religions have changed their teachings about Jews and Judaism. Many Jews who grapple with Jewish tradition in the contemporary world want to know how Judaism sees today's non-Jewish other in order to affirm itself. Re-examining Jewish tradition, they seek guidance in understanding their interfaith relationships in the light of a Jewish religious mission. Jewish Theology and World Religions advances this conversation, exploring critical issues that Jews and Jewish thought face when relating to Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. It also analyses the philosophical issues raised by pluralism, non-exclusive approaches to religious truth, and appreciating the religious other.
The contributors to this volume represent a range of disciplines and denominations within Judaism and share the conviction that articulating contemporary Jewish views of other world religions is an urgent objective for Judaism. Their essays show why formulating a Jewish theology of world religions is a priority for Jewish thinkers and educators concerned with reinvigorating Judaism's contribution to the contemporary world, and how it coheres with maintaining Jewish identity and continuity.
Alon Goshen Gottstein is the founder and director of the Elijah Interfaith Institute, and director of the Center for the Study of Rabbinic Thought at Bet Morasha, Jerusalem. Eugene Korn is academic director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Efrat, where he is co-director of the Institute for Theological Inquiry. He is editor of Meorot: A Forum for Modern Orthodox Discourse.
Notes on Contributors Note on Transliteration Preface - Eugene Korn Introduction: Towards a Jewish Theology of World Religions: Framing the Issues - ALON GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN Part I Philosophical Perspectives on Jewish Pluralism 1 Jewish Views of World Religions: Four Models - ALAN BRILL 2 Justifying Inter-Religious Pluralism - AVI SAGI 3 Pluralism out of the Sources of Judaism: The Quest for Religious Pluralism without Relativism - RAPHAEL JOSPE 4 Respectful Disagreement: Reply to Raphael Jospe - JOLENE S. KELLNER and MENACHEM KELLNER Part II Judaism and the Other 5 Can Another Religion Be Seen as the Other? - STANISLAW KRAJEWSKI 6 The Violence of the Neutral - MEIR SENDOR 7 Jewish Liturgical Memory and the Non-Jew: Past Realities and Future Possibilities - RUTH LANGER Part III Judaism and World Religions 8 Rethinking Christianity: Rabbinic Positions and Possibilities - EUGENE KORN 9 Maimonides' Treatment of Christianity and its Normative Implications - DAVID NOVAK 10 The Banished Brother: Islam in Jewish Thought and Faith - PAUL FENTON 11 Encountering Hinduism: Thinking Through Avodah zarah - ALON GOSHEN GOTTSTEIN 12 Judaism and Buddhism: A Jewish Approach to a Godless Religion - JEROME (YEHUDA) GELLMAN Concluding Reflections - ALON GOSHEN-GOTTSTEIN Index