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Finding God: Selected Responses

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What is God anyway?

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

186 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1986

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Rifat Sonsino

15 books4 followers

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5 stars
60 (32%)
4 stars
84 (44%)
3 stars
33 (17%)
2 stars
6 (3%)
1 star
4 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
22 reviews
January 19, 2009
My only frustration with this book is that everyone has not yet read it!!!!! Another reason I love Judaism- it's allowance for personal interpretation!
Profile Image for Claude Smith-Kenny.
22 reviews1 follower
October 21, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Angelica.
130 reviews
July 22, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Michael Burnam-Fink.
1,458 reviews217 followers
February 4, 2017
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.
Profile Image for Hal Schrieve.
Author 8 books102 followers
September 11, 2017
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.
52 reviews
May 29, 2020
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.
Profile Image for KP.
499 reviews6 followers
May 19, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Max.
74 reviews
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June 28, 2022
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.
Profile Image for Kezza Darlene.
2 reviews
September 1, 2022
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.
593 reviews4 followers
February 24, 2019
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.
34 reviews
January 4, 2023
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.
6 reviews1 follower
April 20, 2020
A good introduction to various Jewish philosophers and theologians, putting difficult concepts in clear, concise language.
Profile Image for N N.
117 reviews16 followers
October 6, 2020
An excellent and brief overview of very different theologies. Really opened my mind to diverse and unusual perspectives!
Profile Image for Teddy Goetz.
88 reviews1 follower
March 20, 2022
An excellent, legible overview and synthesis of main concepts of God from some leaders in Jewish theological thought
Profile Image for Tori 🖤.
12 reviews
July 14, 2022
An excellent primer on Jewish theological thought. Each section was laid out in a way that conveyed each stance clearly and thoroughly.
140 reviews1 follower
March 18, 2021
What a great book! I may have “finished” it, and can check it off as completed on Goodreads, but I will continue referring to it and to that great chart in the back. Great Shabbat reading!
194 reviews2 followers
March 2, 2012
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.
Profile Image for Brian.
211 reviews13 followers
February 3, 2020
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.
Profile Image for Anna.
4 reviews21 followers
February 20, 2020
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.
Profile Image for David Rullo.
Author 1 book7 followers
February 3, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Sophia.
564 reviews6 followers
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September 4, 2019
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.
7 reviews1 follower
Currently reading
January 22, 2008
working on this but really it's been moved down the list for some more interesting and well written religion books
Profile Image for KJ Stone.
6 reviews14 followers
June 22, 2015
It's worth reading and exploring for the Martin Buber and Joshua Abraham Heschel chapters alone.
Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews

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