JUDAIC 478 - Modern Jewish Thought
Section: 001
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Judaic Studies (JUDAIC)
Department: LSA Judaic Studies
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Other Course Info:
Taught in English.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

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.

JUDAIC 478 - Modern Jewish Thought
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 2:30PM - 4:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 0872204286
Franz Rosenzweig : his life and thought, Author: presented by Nahum N. Glatzer ; new foreword by Paul Mendes-Flohr., Publisher: Hackett 3rd ed. 1998
ISBN: 0805210504
On Judaism, Author: Martin Buber ; edited by Nahum N. Glatzer ; foreword by Rodger Kamenetz., Publisher: Schocken Books 1995
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0684717255
I and Thou., Author: A new translation with a prologue "I and You" and notes by Walter Kaufmann., Publisher: Scribner 1st Touchs 1970
ISBN: 0374513317
God in search of man : a philosophy of Judaism, Author: Abraham Joshua Heschel., Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux 1st Noonda 1955
ISBN: 0374529752
The sabbath : its meaning for the modern man, Author: Abraham Joshua Heschel ; with wood engravings by Ilya Schor., Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Paperback 2005
ISBN: 0385514085
The lonely man of faith, Author: Joseph B. Soloveitchik., Publisher: Doubleday 1st Three 2006
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 0060666846
Standing again at Sinai : Judaism from a feminist perspective, Author: Judith Plaskow., Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco 1st Harper 1991
Other Textbook Editions OK.
ISBN: 1580231306
Seek my face : a Jewish mystical theology, Author: Arthur Green., Publisher: Jewish Lights Reprint. 2006
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