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The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion

Mordecai M. Kaplan
Introduction by Mel Scult

Jewish Studies, Jewish Thought, Religion

Paperback
Published: January 1995
ISBN: 9780814325520
Pages: 416 Size: 5.5x8
eBOOK
Published: January 1995
ISBN: 9780814339923
Review

The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion is Mordecai M. Kaplan at his best. A classic of clear thinking from this giant of American Jewish thought, this volume will transform the way you think about symbols and ritual.

— David A. Teutsch

In this book, Kaplan enlarges on his notion of functional reinterpretation and then actually applies it to the entire ritual cycle of the Jewish year-a rarity in modern Jewish thought. This work continues to function as a central text for the Reconstructionist movement, whose influence continues to grow in American Jewry.

Kaplan emigrated to the United States from Lithuania at the age of 8. After graduating from Columbia University in 1902, he was ordained a Conservative rabbi by the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, where he taught for the next 50 years. His attempts to adapt Judaism to the modern world, particularly to the American situation, led to the establishment of a new movement, Reconstructionism. He saw Judaism as representing, first and foremost, a religious civilization and proposed a Jewish theology shaped by Jewish experience and Jewish ethics.

A classic in modern Jewish thought ... a work of contemporary as well as historical importance. It continues to function as a central text for the Reconstructionist movement, whose influence continues to grow in American Jewry.

– Norbert M. Samuelson, Temple University

Without a doubt the second most important book Kaplan wrote after Judaism as a Civilization, and no less relevant than that book to present concerns. Here Kaplan enlarges on his notion of functional reinterpretation and then actually applies it to the entire ritual cycle of the Jewish year-a rarity in modern Jewish thought.

– Arnold Eisen, Stanford University

The Meaning of God in Modern Jewish Religion is Mordecai M. Kaplan at his best. A classic of clear thinking from this giant of American Jewish thought, this volume will transform the way you think about symbols and ritual.

– David A. Teutsch, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College