A Jewish Theology
Narrated by Dan Bernard
Approximately 8 hours
Book published by University of Chicago Press
Contemporary theology, and Jewish theology in particular, Michael Fishbane asserts, now lies fallow, beset by strong critiques from within and without. For Jewish reality, a coherent and wide-ranging response in thoroughly modern terms is needed. Sacred Attunement is Fishbane’s attempt to renew Jewish theology for our time, in the larger context of modern and postmodern challenges to theology and theological thought in the broadest sense.
The first part of the book regrounds theology in this setting and opens up new pathways through nature, art, and the theological dimension as a whole. In the second section, Fishbane introduces his hermeneutical theology—one grounded in the interpretation of scripture as a distinctly Jewish practice. The third section focuses on modes of self-cultivation for awakening and sustaining a covenant theology. The final section takes up questions of scripture, authority, belief, despair, and obligation as theological topics in their own right.
The first full-scale Jewish theology in America since Abraham J. Heschel’s God in Search of Man and the first comprehensive Jewish philosophical theology since Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption, Sacred Attunement is a work of uncommon personal integrity and originality from one of the most distinguished scholars of Judaica in our time.
Michael Fishbane is the Nathan Cummings Professor of Jewish Studies in the Divinity School and a member of the Committee on Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. He is the author of many books, including, most recently, Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking.
Dan Bernard (narrator) reads The New Yorker magazine at Audible.
“A profoundly honest quest for authentic theological expression.... I was deeply engaged in what is a nuanced, personal, and very adult guide to the experience of faith.”
—Gordon Tucker, The Jewish Forward
“Sacred Attunement is a profound meditation on the nature and substance of Jewish theological thinking and will immediately be, for general readers and scholars of religion alike, a major work of American Jewish theology. Fishbane's writing elegantly and lightly bears the depth of his thought and learning while sensitively enacting the very kind of attention and attunement his theology brings to the table.”
—Leora F. Batnitzky, Princeton University
“This book is both an academic and a spiritual event, promising to become a time-spanning theological classic. In an unparalleled way in contemporary thought Michael Fishbane engages the depth and richness of the human mind and heart and the reality of God's splendor. The book started out as a testament for family and friends. Then it was opened to a wider community of the truth- and justice-seeking in the academy, in religious communities and beyond. Now, Fishbane blesses us all with an immensely rich Jewish theology with a global, indeed universal message. He teaches us how to explore and shape the individually closest and deepest experiences of human life-in the light of the sanctification of the Divine. Drawing from rabbinic sources but engaging many philosophical and aesthetic traditions, this book discloses new definitions, meanings and practices for an intellectually and morally responsible and ennobling spiritual life.”
—Michael Welker, Heidelberg University
“This is a book for which I have long been waiting: a spiritual theology, in which the Bible and its Jewish commentators teach not only Israel but all religious people how to be mindful of God. The author has retrieved the core revelation of Israel from the burden of esoteric erudition, showing how it responds to reason's quest of Being, to the imagination's desire to reshape the world in sight and sound, and to the mind's natural aspiration to become attuned to its divine source.”
—Louis Dupr, Yale University
“A passionately poetic devotion to the ideal of religious living, one that is serious without being preachy. When Fishbane tells us that the reality of God erupted into Jewish consciousness at Sinai, and that we have been trying to make sense of and respond to that event ever since, it is clear that he has been doing this in his own life for a very long time. And his concentrated prose and often poetic and illuminating eloquence help the reader come to grips with this task in a fresh and powerful way.”
—Roger S. Gottlieb, Tikkun
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. TOWARD THEOLOGY
Rethinking Theology: Some Preliminary Considerations
Three Domains of Human Being
From General to Jewish Theology
2. A JEWISH HERMENEUTICAL THEOLOGY
Sinai and Torah
Torah and Hermeneutical Theology
3. RELIGIOUS PRACTICE AND FORMS OF ATTENTION
Preliminary Thoughts about Living Theologically
The Practice of Halakha
The Life of Prayer
The Process of Study
4. FORMS OF THOUGHT AND LIVING THEOLOGY
Scripture as the Ground of Life and Thought
Emunah and Theological Integrity
Futility and the Sense of Hevel
Be-khol Atar ve-Atar: Central Places
Toward a Theology of Hiyyuv
“In the cranny of the rock, in the hiddenness”
Sof ve-Ein Sof: Finitude and Infinity