Modern Jewish Theology is the first comprehensive collection of Jewish theological ideas from the pathbreaking nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, featuring selections from more than thirty of the most influential Jewish thinkers of the era as well as explorations of Judaism’s identity, uniqueness, and relevance; the origin of ethical monotheism; and the possibility of Jewish existentialism. These works—most translated for the first time into English by top scholars in modern Jewish history and philosophy—reveal how modern Jewish theology developed in concert with broader trends in Jewish intellectual and social modernization, especially scholarship (Wissenschaft des Judentums), politics (liberalism and Zionism), and religious practice (movement Judaism and the struggles to transcend denominational boundaries).
This anthology thus opens to the English-language reader a true treasure house of source material from the formative years of modern Jewish thought, bringing together writings from the very first generations, who imagined biblical and rabbinic texts and modern scientific research would produce a synthetic view of God, Israel, and the world. A general introduction and chapter introductions guide students and nonspecialists through the key themes and transformations in modern Jewish theology, and extensive annotations immerse them in the latest scholarship.
Samuel J. Kessler is Åke and Kristina Bonnier Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and an assistant professor of religion at Gustavus Adolphus College. He is the author of The Formation of a Modern Rabbi: The Life and Times of the Viennese Scholar and Preacher Adolf Jellinek.
George Y. Kohler is an associate professor in the Department of Jewish Philosophy and director of the Joseph Carlebach Institute for Jewish Theology at Bar Ilan University. He is the author of Kabbalah Research in the Wissenschaft des Judentums (1820–1880): The Foundation of an Academic Discipline and Reading Maimonides’ Philosophy in 19th Century Germany: The Guide to Religious Reform.
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