Putting God Second

Author: Donniel Hartman
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807063347
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life's most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards? To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion's moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary. Hartman identifies the primary source of religion's moral failure in what he terms its "autoimmune disease," or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions' core moral truths. The answer Hartman offers is this: put God second. In order to fulfill religion's true vision for humanity--an uncompromising focus on the ethical treatment of others--religious believers must hold their traditions accountable to the highest independent moral standards. Decency toward one's neighbor must always take precedence over acts of religious devotion, and ethical piety must trump ritual piety. For as long as devotion to God comes first, responsibility to other people will trail far, far behind. In this book, Judaism serves as a template for how the challenge might be addressed by those of other faiths, whose sacred scriptures similarly evoke both the sublime heights of human aspiration and the depths of narcissistic moral blindness. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Hartman offers a lucid analysis of religion's flaws, as well as a compelling resource, and vision, for its repair.

Putting God Second

Author: Donniel Hartman
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807053937
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Why have the monotheistic religions failed to produce societies that live up to their ethical ideals? A prominent rabbi answers this question by looking at his own faith and offering a way for religion to heal itself. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Donniel Hartman tackles one of modern life’s most urgent and vexing questions: Why are the great monotheistic faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—chronically unable to fulfill their own self-professed goal of creating individuals infused with moral sensitivity and societies governed by the highest ethical standards? To answer this question, Hartman takes a sober look at the moral peaks and valleys of his own tradition, Judaism, and diagnoses it with clarity, creativity, and erudition. He rejects both the sweeping denouncements of those who view religion as an inherent impediment to moral progress and the apologetics of fundamentalists who proclaim religion’s moral perfection against all evidence to the contrary. Hartman identifies the primary source of religion’s moral failure in what he terms its “autoimmune disease,” or the way religions so often undermine their own deepest values. While God obligates the good and calls us into its service, Hartman argues, God simultaneously and inadvertently makes us morally blind. The nature of this self-defeating condition is that the human religious desire to live in relationship with God often distracts religious believers from their traditions’ core moral truths. The answer Hartman offers is this: put God second. In order to fulfill religion’s true vision for humanity—an uncompromising focus on the ethical treatment of others—religious believers must hold their traditions accountable to the highest independent moral standards. Decency toward one’s neighbor must always take precedence over acts of religious devotion, and ethical piety must trump ritual piety. For as long as devotion to God comes first, responsibility to other people will trail far, far behind. In this book, Judaism serves as a template for how the challenge might be addressed by those of other faiths, whose sacred scriptures similarly evoke both the sublime heights of human aspiration and the depths of narcissistic moral blindness. In Putting God Second, Rabbi Hartman offers a lucid analysis of religion’s flaws, as well as a compelling resource, and vision, for its repair.

Judaism s Great Debates

Author: Barry L. Schwartz
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0827609329
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Thanks to these generous donors for making the publication of this book possible: David Lerman and Shelley Wallock; D. Walter Cohen, Wendy and Leonard Cooper; Rabbi Howard Gorin; Gittel and Alan Hilibrand; Marjorie and Jeffrey Major; Jeanette Lerman Neubauer and Joe Neubauer; Gayle and David Smith; and Harriet and Donald Young. Ever since Abraham’s famous argument with God, Judaism has been full of debate. Moses and Korah, David and Nathan, Hillel and Shammai, the Vilna Gaon and the Ba’al Shem Tov, Spinoza and the Amsterdam Rabbis . . . the list goes on. Jews debate justice, authority, inclusion, spirituality, resistance, evolution, Zionism, and more. No wonder that Judaism cherishes the expression machloket l’shem shamayim, “an argument for the sake of heaven.” In this concise but important survey, Rabbi Barry L. Schwartz presents the provocative and vibrant thesis that debate and disputation are not only encouraged within Judaism but reside at the very heart of Jewish history and theology. In his graceful, engaging, and creative prose, Schwartz presents an introduction to an intellectual history of Judaism through the art of argumentation. Beyond their historical importance, what makes these disputations so compelling is that nearly all of them, regardless of their epochs, are still being argued. Schwartz builds the case that the basis of Judaism is a series of unresolved rather than resolved arguments. Drawing on primary sources, and with a bit of poetic license, Schwartz reconstructs the real or imagined dialogue of ten great debates and then analyzes their significance and legacy. This parade of characters spanning three millennia of biblical, rabbinic, and modern disputation reflects the panorama of Jewish history with its monumental political, ethical, and spiritual challenges.

A People Apart

Author: David Vital
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199246816
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A controversial look at 150 years of Jewish history in Europe, leading up to the Holocaust.

Save Send Delete

Author: Danusha V. Goska
Publisher: John Hunt Publishing
ISBN: 1846949874
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Save Send Delete is a debate about God between polar opposites: Mira, a poor, Catholic professor and Rand, an atheist author and celebrity. It’s based on a true story. Mira reveals gut-level emotions and her inner struggles to live fully and honestly – and to laugh – in the face of extraordinary ordeals. She shares experiences so profound, so holy, they force us to confront our beliefs in what is true and possible. Rand hears her; he understands her; he challenges her ideas; he makes her more of herself. The book is in essence a love story. What emerges from these eternal questions is not so much about God, but what faith means to us, and ultimately, what we mean to each other. The writing is exquisite. There are pages of this manuscript that I want to highlight and keep close to me on my nightstand. It is filled with wisdom from sources I don’t normally draw on: The wisdom of the Bible, the Talmud, the Vedas, Twelve Step programs, and mostly, the wisdom of Mira.

The Boundaries of Judaism

Author: Donniel Hartman
Publisher: A&C Black
ISBN: 0826496636
Format: PDF, ePub
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The factionalism and denominationalism of modern Jewry makes it supremely difficult to create a definition of the Jewish people. Aiming to take readers beyond the divisions that characterize modern Jewry, this book explores the ever contentious question of "who is a Jew."

Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder

Author: Michael Marmur
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442651237
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Abraham Joshua Heschel and the Sources of Wonder is the first book to demonstrate how Heschel's political, intellectual, and spiritual commitments were embedded in his reading of Jewish tradition.

God Man and History

Author: Eliezer Berkovits
Publisher: Shalem Press
ISBN: 9789657052150
Format: PDF
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God, Man and History examines the underpinnings of Judaism as a whole, from theology to law to the meaning of Jewish nationhood.

Qur n liberation pluralism

Author: Farid Esack
Publisher: Oneworld Pubns Ltd
ISBN: 9781851681211
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The demise of apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s followed annprecedented unity in struggle against oppression from members of differentaith traditions. This work details how South African Muslims were broughtnto conflict with the Qu'ran, which denied virtue outside Islam, and so didot allow them to co-operate with other oppressed groups. It reflects onassages from the Qu'ran and provides interpretations which supportolidarity for change, combining social history, politics and theology.