Personal Theology: Essays in Honor of Neil Gillman

Personal Theology: Essays in Honor of Neil Gillman

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Edited by William Plevan

Series: New Perspectives in Post-Rabbinic Judaism
ISBN: 9781618111685 (hardcover)
Pages: 246 pp.
Publication Date: February 2013

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Neil Gillman has been a part of the JTS community for over 50 years as a student, administrator and member of the faculty. His most enduring contribution as a scholar and a teacher has been a renewed focus on the importance of theological reflection in rabbinic education and Jewish education, both in the Conservative movement and Jewish life generally. This volume seeks to honor Professor Gillman’s contributions to Jewish scholarship and education by collecting essays by his colleagues and students that discuss the issues most central to his work, namely Jewish theology, Conservative Judaism and Jewish education.


Rabbi William Plevan has served as the rabbi at Congregation Shaare Zedek since Rosh Hashanah 5770. In addition to his work at Shaare Zedek, Rabbi Plevan, a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary, is currently a doctoral candidate in the Religion Department of Princeton University, where he is writing his dissertation on Martin Buber's philosophical anthropology.


[Neil Gillman’s] most enduring contribution as a scholar and a teacher has been a renewed focus on the importance of theological reflection in rabbinic education and Jewish education, both in the Conservative movement and Jewish life generally. This volume seeks to honor Professor Gillman’s contributions to Jewish scholarship and education by collecting essays by his colleagues and students that discuss the issues most central to his work, namely Jewish theology, Conservative Judaism and Jewish education.
— Rabbi Dov Peretz Elkins, JewishMediaReview
Gillman’s innovative thinking about how to construe Jewish faith and how to justify it, his use of anthropology as well as philosophy in approaching questions of God and life after death, and his ability to combine complete intellectual openness and honesty with a commitment to Jewish tradition mark his work as truly important, indeed, a real gift to Jews and non-Jews alike. It is an honor to contribute to this volume in his honor.
— Elliot Dorff, Rector, Sol & Anne Dorff Distinguished Service Professor in Philosophy, American Jewish University
A worthy tribute of substance, esteem and affection to the master teacher and fearless theologian of our day, who has given a lifetime of service and thought to the welfare of the Seminary and the cause of Conservative Judaism.
— Ismar Schorsch, Professor and Former Chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Preface
Shaul Magid

Introduction

William M. Plevan
Jewish Images of God
Elliot N. Dorff
The Certainty of Myth: The Legacy of Neil Gillman
Ira F. Stone
The Seminary Theology Professor’s Special Responsibility
Eugene B. Borowitz
A Neo-Hasidic Life: Credo and Reflections
Arthur Green
Is There an Essential Theology for a Halakhic Movement?
Nina Redl
Is Theology the Handmaiden of Halakhah?
Joel Roth
Is the “Halakhic Authenticity” of Conservative Judaism a Broken Myth?
Leonard Levin
Toward a Curriculum for Increasing the Active Participation of Congregants at Prayer Services
Saul P. Wachs
Mordecai Kaplan: “The Master of Midrash”
Mel Scult
The “Ethnic Jew” and Judaism in America according to Felix Adler, Josephine Lazarus, and Mordecai Kaplan
Shaul Magid
Making Peace with Philosophy: Emil L. Fackenheim’s Hegelianism
Sharon Portnoff
Living the Death of God in the Hope of Words: On Gillman, Jabès, Marcel, and Badiou
Aubrey L. Glazer

Index