Abraham Geiger's Liberal Judaism

Abraham Geiger's Liberal Judaism

Personal Meaning and Religious Authority
Ken Koltun-Fromm
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/13/2006
ISBN: 978-0-253-11185-2
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German rabbi, scholar, and theologian Abraham Geiger (1810–1874) is recognized as the principal leader of the Reform movement in German Judaism. In his new work, Ken Koltun-Fromm argues that for Geiger personal meaning in religion—rather than rote ritual practice or acceptance of dogma—was the key to religion’s moral authority. In five chapters, the book explores issues central to Geiger’s work that speak to contemporary Jewish practice—historical memory, biblical interpretation, ritual and gender practices, rabbinic authority, and Jewish education. This is essential reading for scholars, rabbis, rabbinical students, and informed Jewish readers interested in Conservative and Reform Judaism.

Published with the generous support of the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation.

Author Bio

Ken Koltun-Fromm is Associate Professor of Religion at Haverford College and author of Moses Hess and Modern Jewish Identity (IUP, 2001), winner of the Koret Jewish Book Award for Philosophy and Thought.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Abraham Geiger, Religious Authority, and Personal Meaning
1. Historical Memory and the Authority of Religious Judaism
2. The Practice of Hermeneutical Authority
3. The Gendered Politics of Authority
4. Rabbinic Authority
5. Jewish Education and the Authority of Personal Meaning
Conclusion: The Practice of Authority