First published in 1986, Finding God contained essays on significant Jewish thinkers, attempting to answer the questions looming above us all: What is God? Is there more than one way to perceive of God? How can we know God? What does God "want" from us? How does God relate to me?
As in the earlier edition of Finding God, the approaches to God found in biblical texts and in the prayerbook are explored, as are those of the classical and medieval rabbis. This latest edition of Finding God includes two new essays on the distinct theologies of Abraham Joshua Heschel and Alvin Reines, as well as a chapter on newer approaches, including those of Emil Fackenheim, Harold Schulweis, Marcia Falk, Lawrence Kushner, and Judith Plaskow. There is no one right way to view God for Jews, but with the help of this book readers will be better able to understand the multiple ways that Jews have continued to wrestle with the idea of God throughout history. -- Revised edition -- Three new chapters -- A multiplicity of distinctively Jewish theological perspectives -- Ideal for high school, adult education courses, and Introduction to Judaism -- Free discussion guide available at www.uahcpress.com
A clear and concise introduction to the most well known Jewish thinkers (or groups of thinkers) and the multiplicity of what God can be in Jewish thought. Highly recommend this book for anyone unsure of how their worldview fits into their Judaism.
The different ideas of Jewish rabbis and philosophers are written in a format that is easy to understand for both Jewish and non-Jewish. The book starts with the view of G-d in the Bible to the newer approaches of G-d today. Each essay gives the background of historical events as well as religious events in the philosopher's life. Main components of the philosophy with quotes from the major works of the philosopher are presented and a summary is presented at the end of each essay. It is a great starting point for people who are interested in the different Jewish philosophers/rabbis throughout history and their viewpoints on G-d.
Finding God is exactly what it says on the label, a well-organized survey of Jewish approaches to theological questions, particularly the nature of God and the problem of evil, from the Biblical era to modern thinkers. The authors are from the Reform tradition, and so this book is tilted more towards modern, humanistic, and heterodox thinkers, rather than getting deeply into any particular text or Rabbinic school. While limited by nature, and a little dated, this book is an excellent survey and introduction to 20th century Jewish theology.
This was an interesting collection of short essays about different approaches to God within Judaism. I think in general I wished there had been more discussion of ancient dialogues about theology and direct quotations, particularly from the later scholars discussed, but as an entry level text exploring how theology in liberal Judaism has evolved and where its origins are, it is relatively comprehensive and accessible.
i started this book in august in sf and then forgot about it until shavuot. oops! though a bit dated at this point, it's a great starting point for learning about jewish theology. also, one of the thinkers mentioned was a rabbi at one of the shuls through which i completed giyur, so! the rating's not going through atm, but five stars.
Really well laid out book with different philosophical understandings of God in Jewish thought over the centuries. Appreciated the overall message of the book - that people all have their own understanding of God, and those different understandings aren't contrary to Jewish belief; they are, in fact, a normal part of it.
Despite it's length, it has taken me a long time to get through this book. Mildly headache inducing from the complex ideas squashed into short chapters, but a helpful overview of some of the basics of Jewish theological writings about the nature of god. I will probably come back to this book repeatedly, it's very helpful.
A very well written introductory book on the various theological viewpoints of God in Jewish tradition. The entries are short, easy to read, and express the overall ideas of each Jewish thinker. As prospective conversion student, this book has been incredibly valuable to my learning and understanding.
I was expecting this to be more of an overview of different conceptualizations of god, but instead it's more a history of Jewish philosophy through the lens of views of god. Still pretty interesting, just not what I was expecting.
This book was helpful! I found myself losing focus several times when reading it. I will definitely keep it on my bookshelf though because the breakdown of various Jewish thinking is something I would want to return to.
Full disclosure, I'm Christian. But I'll try to review this from two sides.
1. The Christian side: wow, Judaism sounds almost Unitarian in its unwillingness to make any definitive statements about God. And there sure are a lot of ideas bandied about to explain how God could be anything other than Jesus.
2. The Jewish side: Look, it's pretty simple, pretty much any idea you have about God can be right, except that He can be mortal. Christians, look at all these examples, and yours really doesn't make any sense next to them.
In, Finding God: Ten Jewish Responses, by Rifat Sonsion, he describes a religion with one supreme being who has an infinite existence. An anthology of what famous rabbis and philosophers have declared to be their opinions on the topic. Examples are shown of writings from various famous Hebrew scholars from 1000’s of years ago to modern times. If you want a book containing introspection, written at a simplistic level of non-fiction, and with a progression of beliefs then this is the book for you.
Very informative, a solid summary of various Jewish theologies across history. Not that I found in it one that I could fully relate to. I’m just not sure why American Judaism at large glosses over or downright ignores Levinas, the classical response to Buber’s mysticism (who’s always such a major reference). I wish they’d included his work in this book.
Not a bad book but definitely an overview. I learned a lot but would have liked to have gone into more detail with some of the ideas presented. In this format though, depth just isn't possible. Like all good overviews, it caused me to want to dig deeper.
Not rating this one because I can't really do it. It has a purpose: to introduce you to many important Jewish thinkers. It succeed at this purpose. I learned a lot and will return to this book again to refresh myself on different ideas.