RELIGION 478 - Modern Jewish Thought
Section: 001
Term: WN 2008
Subject: Religion (RELIGION)
Department: LSA Studies in Religion
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Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
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An exploration of selected 20th-century Jewish thinkers and their responses to the crisis of modernity (and post-modernity):

  • the breakdown of traditional Jewish culture and its system of meaning;
  • the encounter with, and assimilation of, Western culture;
  • the impact of the traumas of World War I and the Holocaust; and
  • the contemporary quest for intimacy and tikkun, or "healing."

Authors studied include the philosopher of dialogue Martin Buber, Franz Rosenzweig, thinker-activist Abraham Joshua Heschel, and the modern Orthodox theologian-ethicist, J.B. Soloveitchik. We conclude with a study of feminist theologians including Judith Plaskow; and the mystically and ecologically inflected work of Arthur Green.

The central themes to be studied include:

  1. The problem of Jewish “identity” and Peoplehood
  2. Models of God and the individual’s relation to divinity
  3. The relation to Tradition and its authority
  4. The nature of community and the role of individual autonomy
  5. The person as holy Other
  6. The theological significance of gender; and
  7. The nature and possibility of religious experience; and the theology of feelings (joy, hope, wonder, yearning, despair, etc.) and the quest for “spirituality” and spiritual intimacy.

RELIGION 478 - Modern Jewish Thought
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
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