Postmodern Jewish thinkers understand their Jewishness differently, but they all share a fidelity to what they call the ?Torah? and to communal practices of reading and social action that have their bases in rabbinic interpretations of biblical narrative, law, and belief. Thus, postmodern Jewish thinking is thinking about God, Jews, and the world?with the texts of the Torah?in the company of fellow seekers and believers. It utilizes the tools of philosophy, but without their modern premises. Moreover, this form of Jewish thinking provides resources for philosophically disciplined readings of scripture by Jews, Christians, and Moslems seeking alternatives to the reductive discourses of secular academia, on the one hand, and to antimodern religious fundamentalisms, on the other. Postmodern Jewish Philosophy aims to utilize rabbinic modes of thinking to provide a model for ethical and religious thought in the twenty-first century, one which moves beyond the dichotomy of relativism and imperialism and is simultaneously definite and pluralistic.In Reasoning After Revelation: Dialogues in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy, three preeminent Jewish scholars debate the form and meaning of Postmodern Jewish Philosophy after the failures of the great secular ideologies of modern western civilization. Emulating the methods as well as the premises of Talmudic argumentation, the authors present their responses as dialogues joined by a common love of the rabbinic tradition of commentary and interpretation of the Bible. The composers, Peter Ochs, Robert Gibbs, and Steven Kepnes, contemplate where Judaism has been?and where it is headed: on what basis will modern Jews now reason about the meaning of Jewish existence and the relevance of age-old Biblical traditions to the moral and social crises of the twenty-first century? The dialogues are further enriched by a set of responses from leading Jewish philosophers: Elliot R. Wolfson, Edith Wyschogrod, Almut Sh. Bruckstein, Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, and Susan E. Shapiro.
Table of Contents
Introductions -- What Is Postmodern Jewish Philosophy? -- Initial Conversation -- Monologic Definitions -- Dialogic Practices -- Commentary -- Toward a Dialogic Postmodern Jewish Philosophy -- Toward a Postmodern Judaism: A Response -- Listening to Speak: A Response to Dialogues in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy -- Joining the Narrators: A Philosophy of Talmudic Hermeneutics -- Trends in Postmodern Jewish Philosophy: Contexts of a Conversation -- Epilogue