Interim Judaism

Interim Judaism

Jewish Thought in a Century of Crisis
Michael L. Morgan
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/1/2001
ISBN: 978-0-253-10851-7
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Description

Confronting the challenges of the 20th century, from modernity and the Great War to the Holocaust and postmodern culture, Jewish thinkers have wrestled with such fundamental issues as redemption and revelation, eternity and history, messianism and politics. From the turn of the century through the 1920s, European Jewish intellectuals confronted alienation and the challenges of modernity by seeking secure grounds for a meaningful life. After the Holocaust and the fall of Nazism, the rich results of their thinking—on topics such as transcendence, redemption, revelation, and politics—were reinterpreted in an atmosphere of increasing disillusion and fragmentation. In Interim Judaism, Michael L. Morgan traces the evolution of this shift in values, as expressed in the work of social thinkers, novelists, artists, and poets as well as philosophers and theologians at the beginning and end of the century. Focusing on the problem of objectivity, the experience of the transcendent, and the relationship between redemption and politics, he argues that the outcome for contemporary Jews is a pragmatic style of religiosity that has abandoned traditional conceptions of Judaism and is searching and waiting for new ones, a condition that he describes as “interim Judaism.”

Published with the generous support of Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati
Published with the generous support of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati

Author Bio

Michael L. Morgan is Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is author of Platonic Piety and Dilemmas in Modern Jewish Thought. He has edited The Jewish Thought of Emil Fackenheim, Classics in Moral and Political Theory, Jewish Philosophers and Jewish Philosophy, and A Holocaust Reader: Responses to the Nazi Extermination. With Paul Franks, he has translated and edited Franz Rosenzweig: Philosophical and Theological Writings.

Reviews

". . . this book . . . reveal[s] the cumulative knowledge of a core debate in Judaism on the dilemma between reason and revelation and its effect on contemporary American Jewish life and thought." —Choice , December 2001

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Table of Contents

Preliminary :

Introduction
1. The Problem of Objectivity Before and After Auschwitz
2. Revelation, Language, and the Search for Transcendence
3. Messianism and Politics: Incremental Redemption
Conclusion: Judaism Before Theory
Notes
Index