American Jewish Thought Since 1934
Writings on Identity, Engagement and Belief
Editors: Michael Marmur and David Ellenson
What is the role of Judaism and Jewish existence in America? And what role does America play in matters Jewish? This anthology considers these questions and offers a look at how the diverse body of Jewish thought developed within the historical and intellectual context of America. In this volume, editors Michael Marmur and David Ellenson bring together the distinctive voices of those who have shaped the bold and shifting soundscape of American Jewish thought over the last few generations. The contributors tackle an array of topics including theological questions; loyalty and belonging; the significance of halakhic, spiritual and ritual practice; secularization and its discontents; and the creative recasting of Jewish peoplehood. The editors are careful to point out how a plurality of approaches emerged in response to the fundamental ruptures and challenges of continuity posed by the Holocaust, the establishment of the state of Israel, and the civil rights movement in the 20th century. This volume also includes a wide swath of the most distinctive currents and movements over the last 80 years: post-Holocaust theology, secular forms of Jewish spirituality, ultra-orthodoxy, American neo-orthodoxy, neo-Hasidism, feminism and queer theory, diasporist critiques of Zionism, and Zionist militancy. This collection will serve as both a testament to the creativity of American Jewish thought so far, and as an inspiration for the new thinkers of its still unwritten future.