Doing Jewish Theology: God, Torah & Israel in Modern Judaism

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Jewish Lights Publishing
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6.3 X 9.0 X 1.0 inches | 1.22 pounds
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About the Author

Neil Gillman, rabbi and PhD, is professor of Jewish philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, where he has served as chair of the Department of Jewish Philosophy and dean of the Rabbinical School. He is author of Believing and Its Tensions: A Personal Conversation about God, Torah, Suffering and Death in Jewish Thought; The Death of Death: Resurrection and Immortality in Jewish Thought, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award and a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year"; The Way Into Encountering God in Judaism; The Jewish Approach to God: A Brief Introduction for Christians; Traces of God: Seeing God in Torah, History and Everyday Life (all Jewish Lights) and Sacred Fragments: Recovering Theology for the Modern Jew, winner of the National Jewish Book Award.


For the past twenty years Rabbi Neil Gillman has been one of the leading American thinkers on Jewish theological issues. This volume can be seen as a summing-up of his thought over the past decades, as he prepares to retire from the faculty of the Jewish Theological Seminary. The essays come from a variety of sources, including Sh'ma, Conservative Judaism, and other journals and books from the mid-1980s up to 2006.

The book is divided into sections on God, Torah and Israel, but is not rigorous in differentiating the topics. The first section contains a wonderful article on prophecy in the works of Heschel, and another on renewed interest in resurrection over the past half-century. In the second section Gilman discusses the role of the Jewish philosopher; this portion also includes an analysis of rabbinic education written in 1990. The third section focuses on the Conservative movement as it approaches its official centennial. It includes suggestions for establishing theological principles and "A New Aggadah" for the movement.

Rabbi Gillman's work is always worth reading. His essays give the serious reader food for thought. This book is recommended for academic libraries and Conservative synagogues, and also suggested for synagogues whose rabbis and members are interested in the ongoing flow of theological discussion.

--Fred Isaac "Association of Jewish Libraries "