This major intellectual response to the leading theologian of liberal Judaism provides a significant indication of future directions in Jewish religious thought.
In Reviewing the Covenant, six Jewish philosophers—and one Christian colleague—respond to the work of the renowned Jewish theologian Eugene B. Borowitz, one of the leading figures in the movement of "postmodern" Jewish philosophy and theology. The title recalls Borowitz's earlier book, Renewing the Covenant: A Theology for the Postmodern Jew, in which he lent this movement a theological agenda, and the essays in this book respond to Borowitz's call: to revitalize contemporary Judaism by renewing the covenant that binds modern Jews to re-live and re-interpret the traditions of Judaism's past.
Together with the introductory and responsive essays by Peter Ochs and Borowitz himself, the essays offer a community of dialogue, an attempt to reason-out how Jewish faith is possible after the Holocaust and how reason itself is possible after the failings of the great "-isms" of the modern world. This dialogue is conducted under the banner of "postmodern Judaism," a daunting term that by the end of the book receives a surprisingly direct meaning, namely, the condition of disillusionment and loss out of which Jews can and must find a third way out of the modern impasse between arrogant rationalism and arrogant religion. Representing a major intellectual response to the leading theologian of liberal Judaism, the book provides a significant indication of future directions in Jewish religious thought.
Contributors include Eugene B. Borowitz, Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, Susan Handelman, David Novak, Peter Ochs, Thomas W. Ogletree, Norbert M. Samuelson, and Edith Wyschogrod.
Peter Ochs is Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia and founder of the Postmodern Jewish Philosophy Network. Eugene B. Borowitz is the Sigmund L. Falk Distinguished Professor of Education and Jewish Religious Thought at Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion/New York.
"This book offers a concise yet panoramic overview of a crucial contemporary debate." — Allan Arkush, author of Moses Mendelssohn and the Enlightenment
"Borowitz invited a discussion of postmodernism and Judaism in his book, but the battle over the term yields to what is one of the clearest expositions of the context in contemporary disciplines, and more importantly the reasons why Judaism needs a postmodern turn now. This is not merely taxonomy, but is rather a deep reflection and, better still, conversation about the way Judaism faces the crisis of modernity." — Robert Gibbs, author of Correlations in Rosenzweig and Levinas