The Jewish God Question: What Jewish Thinkers Have Said about God, the Book, the People, and the Land

Andrew Pessin. Rowman & Littlefield, $34 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-5381-1098-0
Nearly a decade after his book The God Question: What Famous Thinkers from Plato to Dawkins Have Said About the Divine, Pessin, professor of philosophy at Connecticut College, reprises the format to succinctly trace, from Philo to Samuel Lebens, more than two millennia of diverse Jewish perspectives on theology. Of the 72 portraits in the book, one of the most striking is that of 12th-century historian Abraham Ibn Daud, who had surprisingly modern ideas on human freedom, moral responsibility, and living with the consequences of actions. The highlight of the book is the section covering Theodor Herzl’s 19th-century argument for a Jewish state safe from anti-Semitism and its opposition by Shalom Dov Baer Schneersohn, who argued that religious Jews must reject Zionism because it seeks to force the hand of God. Also included are Hannah Arendt’s dismantling of Eichmann’s “radical evil” and Judith Plaskow’s pivotal feminist midrash. This impressive summation of a huge wealth of material will be of interest to anyone interested in the history of Jewish thought. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/24/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 288 pages - 978-1-5381-1099-7
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