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Radical Judaism: Rethinking God and Tradition

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  13 reviews
As featured on the cover of Tikkun magazine

How do we articulate a religious vision that embraces evolution and human authorship of Scripture?  Drawing on the Jewish mystical traditions of Kabbalah and Hasidism, path-breaking Jewish scholar Arthur Green argues that a neomystical perspective can help us to reframe these realities, so they may yet be viewed as dwelling place
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 23rd 2010 by Yale University Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Jan Rice
Jul 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, theology
(Remarks from around the end of 2010 or early 2011)
The author is a teacher and a post-modern Jewish mystic who also describes himself as a religious humanist. He is so not a bible literalist or fundamentalist, yet, as he says, takes Scripture & tradition seriously. He wants not just to explain Judaism but to deal with the universal religious questions in a way compatible with thinking in scientific terms, or in universal terms, yet still being religious. This is one of those very rich books. It
...more
Laura Howard
Jun 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
It should be noted that this book is well-written—the one-star rating has to do with how flabbergasted I am at the content of the writing.

Green reframes Judaism as a person inhabiting a liminal space in-between theism and atheism. Green winds up with a panetheistic reading of Hebrew Scripture in which he insists that people require a level of material comfort and/or liberation before they are able to worship God. What about Hagar, who praised God even as he commanded her to return to slavery? (
...more
Shira
Aug 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love this inventor of the term Eco-Kashruth's universalist outlook, yet remaining within the context of observant neo-Hasidic Judaism. What a way to reframe things. I also hope that this book will be heard, and will be part effectively in transforming human consciousness, as he is right, this is a most critical hour in human history. ...more
Andy Oram
Oct 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
Radical Judaism creatively combines many of the trends in modern
Judaism--with Art Green's unique way of rendering issues and debates
as urgent calls to action--to bring us closer to solving many of the
problems that bother religious and other thoughtful people: how to
reclaim religious passion from its misdirection into divisiveness and
atrophy, how to make our colleagues wake up and take action on the
disasters facing humanity and the rest of the world today, how to
respect our heritage while fully a
...more
Jonathan
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A clarion call for all of us - Jew and non-Jew - to embrace existence as a reflection of God as the One Becoming in all things. When we do that we must work together to prevent the destruction of our world at our own hands.
Michael Lewyn
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Green does not believe in a personal God that commands humans in the way that the Bible suggests, and he believes that religious practices are of human origin. Green's point of view is essentially pantheistic :he describes God as "the inner force of existence itself" that he chooses to personify by calling "God." He is a religious pantheist, in that he sees himself as in relationship to this Being, by "carrying forth this great mission of the evolving life process." Unlike an atheist, he sees ev ...more
Miranda Barzey
Mar 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Much of this book is way beyond my understanding of Judaism at the moment, but I was struck enough by Rabbi Green’s Top 10 Jewish Ideas book that I wanted to hear more from him. I was able to find nuggets of wisdom anyway, which make me eager for his new book this fall, which will hopefully speak more to my level of understanding.
Jennie
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a very dense and heavy read, but an absolutely wonderful look at theology and spirituality. Arthur Green presents a wonderful picture of how one can be both religious and scientifically minded, and redefines the spirituality of Judaism while still remaining true to the religion's inherent characteristics of questioning and exploring all of the hard questions of life. ...more
Shane
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is completely brilliant.
Abby Stein
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"That One is Being itself, the constant in the endlessly changing evolutionary parade."
"Nuclear physicists and cosmologists have become the new Kabbalists of our age, speculating in ever more refined ways on the first few seconds of existence much as our mystical sages meditated on the highest triad of the ten divine emanations."
"How would such a reframed tale read? It would be a narrative of the great reaching out by the inner One that inhabits each of us and binds us all together, a constant s
...more
Jon-Erik
Very well written. But can someone write a book like this minus the mysticism?
Carol
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very worthwhile
Randi
Jan 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Difficult to comprehend. I read this as part of a class. Without the teacher and my fellow students, I'm not sure I would have "gotten" it. With them, it made for an interesting struggle. ...more
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“That One is Being itself, the constant in the endlessly changing evolutionary parade."
"Nuclear physicists and cosmologists have become the new Kabbalists of our age, speculating in ever more refined ways on the first few seconds of existence much as our mystical sages meditated on the highest triad of the ten divine emanations."
"How would such a reframed tale read? It would be a narrative of the great reaching out by the inner One that inhabits each of us and binds us all together, a constant stretching forth of Y-H-W-H ("Being") in the endless adventure of becoming HWYH (Hebrew for ''being'' or "existence"), or of the One garbing itself in the multicolored garment of diversity and multiplicity."
"I do not view humans - surely not as we are now - as the end purpose of evolution. We, like all other species, are a step along the way. If existence survives on this planet, Mind will one day be manifest to a degree far beyond our present ability to comprehend or predict. On that day, says Scripture, "Earth will be filled with knowledge of Y-H-W-H as water fills the sea" (Isaiah 11:9) - just that wholly and naturally.”
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