Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology

Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology

Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology

Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

This work is an attempt to “do” theology in a dark and disorienting time—a time sunk in the mire of modernity. Naïveté is out of the question. The mirror of the world reflects back to us our willful epistemologies, our suspicion of values, and the rank perversities of the human heart. Like Kafka, we prowl aimlessly around the debris of old Sinais, in a wasteland of thought. The tablets of despair are strewn everywhere. Old beginnings do not work; they are a dead end. Is theology even possible in such circumstances? And if possible, can it be done without denying the undeniable?

Rosenzweig found a breakthrough. For him, the stark consciousness of mortality broke the iron claw of impersonal reason and philosophy, and opened up a theology of existence marked by the temporal rhythms of speech and liturgy. But now, nearly a century later, we are beset by other enclosures of thought; strangled by subjectivity; and also told that language can never mean what it says or even quite reach its object. Meaning is endlessly deferred. Hölderlin has even turned the obligation to wait into a virtue, musing that the gods have wandered off through the rifts of language. But not only the gods. And thus another breakthrough is needed. I would call it the consciousness of natality, the spring of beginnings that comes with a reborn mindfulness. Perhaps this may loosen the grip of indecision and attune us to . . .

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