Particularism and Universalism in Modern Jewish Thought
Explores how modern Judaism has balanced between universalism and particularism.
With the arrival of the modern period, Judaism left the ghetto and embraced modernity with its emphasis on rationality and universality. The Jews have since then balanced between a universalistic and a particularistic orientation: strengthening their own community or changing the surrounding society, focusing on the uniquely Jewish or on what all men have in common, addressing either their own people or all of mankind, "speaking Hebrew or Greek. " This book describes how modern Judaism has balanced between universalism and particularism. The focus is on five issues: the concept of the chosen people, the ideas about the nature of the Jews, the attitude towards converts, the ideas about the non-Jews in the messianic age, and the Jewish contribution to the world. This book gives an overview of how modern Jewish thought has dealt with these themes. It tries to discover the trends and tendencies involved and to concentrate on the thought of central and influential persons. The book is intended for all who are seriously interested in modern Judaism.