Rethinking the Messianic Idea in Judaism

Rethinking the Messianic Idea in Judaism

Edited by Michael L Morgan and Steven Weitzman
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 11/28/2014
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01474-0
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Over the centuries, the messianic tradition has provided the language through which modern Jewish philosophers, socialists, and Zionists envisioned a utopian future. Michael L. Morgan, Steven Weitzman, and an international group of leading scholars ask new questions and provide new ways of thinking about this enduring Jewish idea. Using the writings of Gershom Scholem, which ranged over the history of messianic belief and its conflicted role in the Jewish imagination, these essays put aside the boundaries that divide history from philosophy and religion to offer new perspectives on the role and relevance of messianism today.

Author Bio

Michael L. Morgan is the Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at Indiana University.

Steven Weitzman, the Abraham M. Ellis Professor of Hebrew and Semitic Languages and Literature at the University of Pennsylvania and director of the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, is a scholar of the Hebrew Bible and early Judaism whose most recent publications include Solomon: The Lure of Wisdom and a second revised edition of The Jews: A History.


“the messianic is a difficult concept in both Christianity and Judaism, but it is also of central importance to both religions. The originating difference between Judaism and Christianity often turns on the question or status of the massianic.”
 — Claire Elise Katz, Texas A&M University

“Invites exploration of a number of significant issues including but not limited to: Jewish-Christian relations, post-Holocaust Jewish thought, Judaism and the political, the future of Zionism, Judaism and naturalism, biblical hermeneutics, and Jewish ethics.”
 — Randi Rashkover, George Mason University

“Lehrer and Meng have edited an important interdisciplinary work, which should make an immediate impact on the field of Polish Jewish Studies.”
 — Religious Studies Review

“[A]ppropriate for academic collections that are either comprehensive or include a specialization on messianism.Sept 2015”
 — AJL Reviews

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Table of Contents

Michael L. Morgan and Steven Weitzman

Part I. Blurred Lines and Open Secrets in Early Jewish Messianism
1. Messianism between Judaism and Christianity Annette Yoshiko Reed
2. He that Cometh Out: On How to Disclose a Messianic Secret Steven Weitzman
Part II. Between Here and Eternity in Medieval Judaism
3. Maimonides and the Idea of a Deflationary Messiah Kenneth Seeskin
4. ‘And the Crooked Shall be Made Straight’: Twisted Messianic Visions, and a Maimonidean Corrective Menachen Kellner
5. Seeking the Symmetry of Time: The Messianic Age in Medieval Chronology
Elisheva Carlebach
Part III. Messianism and Ethics in Modern Jewish Thought
6. Messianism and Ethics Matt Goldish
7. To Infinity and Beyond: Cohen and Rosenzweig on Comportment towards Redemption
Benjamin Pollock
8. Levinas and Messianism Michael L. Morgan

Part IV. Politics and Anti-Politics in Contemporary Jewish Messianism
9. What Zvi Yehudah Kook Wrought: The Theopolitical Radicalization of Religious Zionism
Shai Held
10. Messianic Religious Zionism and the Reintroduction of Sacrifice: The Case of the Temple Institute
Motti Inbari
11. The Muted Messiah: The Aversion to Messianic Forms of Zionism in Modern Orthodox Thought
David Shatz
12. The Divine/Human Messiah and Religious Deviance: Rethinking Chabad Messianism
Shaul Magid

Part V. Messianism between Religious and Secular Imagination
13. Isadore Isou’s Messianism Awry Cosana Eram
14. Arthur A. Cohen’s Messianic Fiction Emily Kopley

15. Reading Messianically with Gershom Scholem Martin Kavka


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