A Jewish Theology Paperback – 1 Jun 1973
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Top customer reviews
on page 314 when it should be Nahmanides and Maimonides it is clear that the inexperienced reader is only confused. Footnotes with the wrong
numbering is an additional irritant. But that caveat out of the way the themes are systemised in a way that the reader feels comfortable with the
23 strands that include: WHAT IS JEWISH THEOLOGY, JEWISH ETHICS, SIN AND REPENTANCE, THE CHOSEN PEOPLE,THE MESSIANIC HOPE, and THE HEREAFTER. Jacobs distills the essence of Judaism when discussing Ethics: ''Judaism speaks of the nearness of God as the ultimate aim and it teaches that man is never nearer to God than when he responds in love and sympathy to the needs of others''.
Rabbi Louis Jacobs was a giant who bestrode British Judaism and after his studious endeavours on behalf of academia went to his rest in 2006.
His companion volume 'Principles of the Jewish Faith' should be used in conjunction with his Theology to obtain a good grounding on Jewish beliefs.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
It might feel too liberal for a very traditional Jew, and it might feel too conservative for a very liberal Jew, but I think Louis Jacobs did a great job of packing it all in there. He doesn't skimp, doesn't shy away from discussing Jewish theology that runs the full gamut.
It was published in the early 1970's, and that is somewhat noticeable in the approach, but as I grew up in the same time period, it suits me. I also appreciate getting the historical perspective from that particular vantage point. From personal experience, I believe the Orthodox Jews of that time would not have been miffed, like I imagine some of the "Ultra Orthodox" Jews of today might be. Their loss. Knowing what different sects of Judaism hold as their theology is a good thing.
The work is academic enough to be satisfying, but popular enough to not be too dense. It helps to have background, but it isn't an absolute necessity like in some books on theology.
Jacobs does an interesting thing, where he expands on certain issues, but recognizing that not everyone wants to delve that deeply, puts it in a smaller font. A reader who wishes to just read the main text, and skip the "fine print" as it were, would still get a good read. But for readers like me, who usually enjoy digging in deep, I've found at least 70% of the fine print to be edifying. Nearly 30% of it wasn't really my thing, but I skimmed it anyway, appreciating the opportunity to expand my knowledge. Never know where some of that will click into place later, even if now I don't find it directly interesting.
I've never seen another book do that, and it was a risk for him to take. But it looks to me like it worked. Not that I've seen anyone else do it since, so I may be in the minority. I'm glad he did it.
Larger margins would be nice, and a slightly larger font on the main text, in order to make a slightly larger font on the fine print, would have been appreciated, but so it goes. Pull out the stronger reading glasses, it's worth it.
Not a fast read, and you'll want to read with a pencil in your hand to underline, and annotate! I look forward to reading through again some day, and seeing if I still agree with my own notes.
In his introduction he explains that for Rambam theology is ' the science of God' and that this science is one which many have regarded as alien to Judaism. He discusses the difficulty of definining and limiting God, and again turns to Rambam in his teaching that we study theology not in order to know what we can say about God, but in order to know what should not be said about God.
Jacobs talks about the different ways of coming to believe in God, 1) through the traditional proofs, or by reason 2)through direct mystical experience 3) By existensial decision 4) Through tradition and the acceptance of it.
In his chapters he writes about , the unity of God; transcendence and immanence; omnipotence and omniscience; providence; the love and the fear of God; the nature of revelation; Torah and mitzvah; sin and repentance; the Messianic hope; and the afterlife.
His presentation is balanced and thorough.
This is a book to not only be read but to be learned and studied.
I myself intend to reread it as I understand it has a wealth of ideas and insights that can hopefully help me understand how to better serve God.
Look for similar items by category