How do we articulate a religious vision that embraces evolution and human authorship of Scripture? Drawing on the Jewish mystical traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidism, path-breaking Jewish scholar Arthur Green argues that a neomystical perspective can help us to reframe these realities, so they may yet be viewed as dwelling places of the sacred. In doing so, he rethinks such concepts as God, the origins and meaning of existence, human nature, and revelation to construct a new Judaism for the twenty-first century.
On his first page, Green (Seek My Face, Speak My Name) states that this book is in large measure his response to a challenge to "write theology for theologians." Accordingly, what he has produced is largely incomprehensible to non-theologians. Using his expertise on Hasidism, Kabbalah, spirituality and Jewish mysticism, Green offers a perplexing interpretation of the concept of God, the existence of evil, and the purpose of human existence. From 1987 to 1993, Green, who describes himself as a "heterodox Jew," presided over the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College. He is now professor and rector of the non-denominational rabbinical program at Hebrew College in Newton, Mass. Although Green's achievements and publication list stamp him as a leading scholar, his new book largely fails to help general readers to comprehend the complicated ideas with which he wrestles. One exception to the generally unintelligible character of Green's presentation is his lucid discussion of the Ten Commandments, which, he asserts, should "stand as the basis of a reinvigorated Judaism." He also clearly advocates a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, although he fails to relate that stance to the emphasis of his book.
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