Abraham Geiger's Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning And by Ken Koltun-Fromm

By Ken Koltun-Fromm

German rabbi, student, and theologian Abraham Geiger (1810--1874) is well-known because the important chief of the Reform move in German Judaism. In his new paintings, Ken Koltun-Fromm argues that for Geiger own which means in faith -- instead of rote ritual perform or recognition of dogma -- used to be the most important to religion's ethical authority. In 5 chapters, the ebook explores matters principal to Geiger's paintings that talk to modern Jewish perform -- old reminiscence, biblical interpretation, ritual and gender practices, rabbinic authority, and Jewish schooling. this is often crucial interpreting for students, rabbis, rabbinical scholars, and proficient Jewish readers attracted to Conservative and Reform Judaism.Published with the beneficiant help of the Lucius N. Littauer origin.

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Extra info for Abraham Geiger's Liberal Judaism: Personal Meaning And Religious Authority (Jewish Literature and Culture)

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His essay could not easily be dismissed as the wild ravings of a conservative lunatic against Jewish emancipation and its place within a Christian state. So Bauer’s status and reputation moved many Jewish thinkers to take his claims seriously and respond to them in kind. But more to the point here, Bauer’s essay focused on historical method and narrative, and to these issues Jewish historians were no strangers. They had secured modern Jewish life on the shoulders of critical historical studies, and now faced a sophisticated Hegelian thinker who challenged their liberal views, and one who knew a thing or two about historical critique.

24 Methodological considerations took ¤rst priority, for only the right “position” would yield a true understanding of the Jew’s essential being. The key methodological question turned on whether the Jew lived within or outside the progressive dynamics of history. Bauer repeatedly told his readers that history marks the patterns of development, freedom, and spiritual creation. ”25 The change in tense—from history “wants” to Jews “wanted”—clearly indicated Bauer’s method and agenda. History continually develops toward ever-new progressive developments.

Though Salomon rejects many of Bauer’s claims about Jewish history and religion, he nonetheless accepts the historical critique only to dismiss it as irrelevant. Ultimately, Salomon cares less about contingent claims and more about grounding ethical truths. But Geiger could not so easily abandon history, even if he, like Salomon, would appeal to a similar set of moral universal truths. ” Still, Geiger was not keen to attack Bauer or the journal that had published his articles. 34 But such a historical assassination of modern Judaism could not go unanswered, and Geiger responded kind for kind.

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