Cross Currents

Articles from Vol. 62, No. 1, March

A Heart of Flesh: Beyond "Creative Liturgy"
In the mid-1980s, a young acting student, Thomas Richards, took a two-week workshop in California with the great Polish director Jerzy Grotowski. Grotowski was the intellectual heir of Konstantin Stanislavski and the founder of laboratory theater,...
Catherine Madsen Responds
I'am most grateful for these five attentive--and very differently attentive--responses to my essay. Vanessa Ochs's anthropological approach is appropriately openended and nonjudgmental, and raises entertainingly a number of criteria for evaluating...
Human Rights Need a Human Tradition
Human rights language is the main currency of international ethics. Government officials everywhere praise human rights. It is a card that is difficult to trump. Despite criticisms of his administration for allowing the torture of prisoners, George...
Introduction
The essays you are about to read are responses to Catherine Mad-sen's provocative and ongoing critique of new liturgy and her implicit challenges to liturgical creators to achieve excellence. Madsen shared her most recent thoughts in the context of...
Kaplan's Approach to Prayer Appreciated and Challenged
Introduction Mordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983), the ideological founder of Recon-structionist Judaism, is an important figure in the development of American Jewish liturgy. Kaplan and his closest followers--Eugene Kohn and Ira Eisenstein among others--coedited...
Law as Lyric, Lyric as Star Trek: A Reading of Kol Nidre
Some years ago, I decided to stop coming to Yom Kippur services--at least, to the services for adults. This wasn't just a matter of scheduling or comfort, although I'll admit that the 90-minute children's service I took up instead has a good deal to...
Note about This Issue
This issue of CrossCurrents falls into two parts. The first part, on the topic, "Jewish Liturgy," consists of a paper delivered by Catherine Madsen at a recent conference on Jewish Renaissances at the University of Virginia. The transcript of her presentation...
On Poetry and Prayer
Yehuda Amichai is reported to have told an aspiring poet eager for advice that if that young poet could find fulfillment doing anything else, he should do that instead, and let poetry be his last resort. Poetry, said Amichai, should only be the vocation...
Poetry and Prayer
There are moments when we may be moved to spontaneous prayer. Those moments are usually times of tragedy or great joy when our hearts overflow. Abraham Joshua Heschel writes,"... Prayer is pleading with God to come out of the depths. 'Out of the depths...
Response to Catherine Madsen
Let me begin with a "love letter to Catherine." Dear Catherine, some-I thing happened when I read your essay--something cathartic L because at this point in my life I have a good 35 (OK, let's be honest), 40 years of bad synagogue experience under...
Response to Catherine Madsen, "A Heart of Flesh: Beyond 'Creative Liturgy'"
In her critique of contemporary efforts to have a "liturgical experience" rather than to perform "a liturgical act," Catherine Madsen argues that "liturgy shares with theater the need for aesthetic and psychological coherence." One need not--and should...
Response to Catherine Madsen-God as Criterion of Jewish Liturgy
Catherine Madsen has brought up important issues regarding a renaissance of Jewish liturgy in liberal Jewish communities of the twenty-first century. Certainly, we are seeing great creativity in Jewish liturgy. There are many sparks flying and many...
Response to Catherine Madsen's Paper, "A Heart of Flesh: Beyond 'Creative Liturgy'"
The unexpected ending of Catherine Madsen's paper stuns us with an extended experience of the strong poetry of the Bible. Given that "A Heart of Flesh" performs its critique of liberal liturgy by analogy with good and bad art, mostly in the form of...
Theology after Obama-What Does Race Have to Do with It? A Racial Prolegomenon to American Theological Production in the Twenty-First Century
My concern in this essay is one of challenging North American Chris tianity concerning the ways our racialized history continues to influence and impede our national aspirations toward democracy and justice. In lifting up this concern, my focus is...
What Kind of Country? Economic Crisis, the Obama Presidency, the Politics of Loathing, and the Common Good
The story of our time is that the common good has been getting hammered for 30 years. Wages have been flat for 35 years, and inequality has worsened dramatically. One percent of the American population controls nearly 40 percent of America's wealth...

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.