A Prophetic Peace

A Prophetic Peace

Judaism, Religion, and Politics
Alick Isaacs
Distribution: World
Publication date: 8/16/2011
Format: cloth 224 pages
6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-253-35684-0
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Challenging deeply held convictions about Judaism, Zionism, war, and peace, Alick Isaacs's combat experience in the second Lebanon war provoked him to search for a way of reconciling the belligerence of religion with its messages of peace. In his insightful readings of the texts of Biblical prophecy and rabbinic law, Isaacs draws on the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Buber, among others, to propose an ambitious vision of religiously inspired peace. Rejecting the notion of Jewish theology as partial to war and vengeance, this eloquent and moving work points to the ways in which Judaism can be a path to peace. A Prophetic Peace describes an educational project called Talking Peace whose aim is to bring individuals of different views together to share varying understandings of peace.

Author Bio

Alick Isaacs is a research fellow at the Hartman Institute's Kogod Center for Contemporary Jewish Thought and teaches at the Melton Center for Jewish Education and Rothberg School for Overseas Students, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is co-director of the Talking Peace project sponsored by Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem.


"A timely, highly original, and important work. . . . What renders this book quite unique is its powerful and truly engaging autobiographical setting that lends Isaacs's argument a compelling first person urgency." —Menachem Fisch, author of Rational Rabbis: Science and Talmudic Culture

"A Prophetic Peace is a remarkable synthesis of Jewish wisdom, soul stirring anecdotes and philosophical speculation. The book will break your heart, challenge your mind and if taken seriously, lead you to reconsider your life's priorities. This one is a MUST READ for all those who care about peace and the soul of Judaism!" —Rabbi Carnie Shalom Rose, Congregation B'nai Amoona

"[T]his is un-put-down-able, real philosophy for the real world, with some parting anecdotes that show that you can lead an extremist to dialogue even if you can't make him agree!

If you're interested in philosophy, read it; if you're interested in religion, read it; and if you're interested in peace, read it." —

"The author's goal in this deeply personal and thought provoking book is to challenge conventional perspectives on peace and war and reconcile the bellicosity found in religion with its messages of peace. And yet, as personal as this book is, A Prophetic Peace makes its greatest impact when Isaacs culls through fascinating rabbinic and philosophical material by Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Buber, among others." —www.jewishbookcouncil.org

"While Isaacs writes mostly for an Israeli audience, his details, insights, and scholarly analysis would also interest non-Jews that want to learn more about Judaism, Rabbinic philosophy, and the internal struggle of a Zionist who longs for peace." —middleeastexperience.com

"[S]tress[es] the importance of the historical prophets to Jewish sensibility." —JOURNAL OF PALESTINE STUDIES

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Table of Contents

Preface – Lebanon II
1 – Politics, Anti-Politics and Religion
2 - Irenic Scholarship
3 – Theological Disarmament
4 - Deconstruction and the Prophetic Voice
5 – Prophetic Peace
6 – The Rabbinic Voice
7 – A Prayer for Peace
8 – Peace Education
Afterword – Beating Softly
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