Community Scholar Program (CSP) One Month Scholar, Professor David Ruderman
American Jewish Thought: The Contrasting Postures of Mordechai Kaplan and Abraham Joshua Heschel
Debates that Shaped Jewish Thinking and Their Contemporary Significance–From the Middle Ages to the Present
The focus of these lectures is on the variety of approaches to Jewish life offered by several great thinkers from medieval to modern times, often emerging in the context of heated debate and internal conflict. These forensic encounters were often resolved with a new and more profound understanding of Judaism that emerged through an airing of the two opposing positions. By looking at these intellectual encounters, we investigate some basic contentious issues such as faith versus reason, worship versus study, orthodoxy versus reform, competing visions of the Jewish state, and of American Jewish life. These debates both challenged and enriched Judaism and offer us a deeper understanding of the legacy we now inherit.
Sponsor: Community Scholar Program (CSP)