Jewish Ethics for the Twenty-First Century: Living in the Image of God

By E, Louis | Shofar, October 31, 2001 | Go to article overview

Jewish Ethics for the Twenty-First Century: Living in the Image of God


E, Louis, Shofar


Jewish Ethics for the Twenty-First Century: Living in the Image of God

In this book, Sherwin wishes (1) to demonstrate that Jewish ethics is irreducibly theological, "defined by the beliefs, practices, and significant literature of Judaism," (2) to acquaint the reader with some of the specific "theological claims upon which the ethics of Judaism rests," (3) to show that Jewish tradition "may be effectively applied to the ethical problems of the present," and (4) to illustrate the application of traditional Jewish texts to selected contemporary ethical problems (p. xviii). The book admirably fulfills all these goals through close readings of a wide array of traditional Jewish sources as they bear on a range of ethical topics -- from health care, euthanasia, and reproductive technologies (including cloning) to social welfare, repentance, and honoring parents. It offers an extremely rich presentation of the classical sources, with special emphasis on those reflecting the mystical and hasidic traditions. Though Sherwin breaks no new ground here in terms of methodology, his clear and well founded analyses of moral issues make an important contribution to the growing literature in the field of contemporary Jewish ethics.

Sherwin's treatments of these wide-ranging topics are united by his view, captured in the subtitle of the volume, that Jewish ethics is fundamentally about "living in the image of God." By this he means not only that Jewish ethics is theocentric, but that its key principle concerns honoring each human being as created in God's image, and striving to emulate God in our relations with one another. Thus, whatever the topic at hand, Sherwin draws our attention to the ways in which this key principle expresses itself in Judaism's moral teachings. As a result, he implicitly demonstrates that there is a profound coherence in this system of ethics, that what classical Jewish texts teach about how to treat parents, how to help the poor, and how to care for a dying patient are all of a piece.

Yet, highlighting the theological nature of Jewish ethics, as Sherwin does so effectively, may tend to obscure the distinctly non-theological dimensions of this ethical tradition. The distinctive ways in which each rabbi or exegete within the tradition interprets all that has come before, and adds to the collective legacy, reflects the particular social, historical, and economic circumstances of the time. But sensitive as Sherwin is to the theological tensions within the tradition, he offers us no guidance in discerning the diverse historical contexts that are surely reflected in these divergent theological streams. Moreover, the theological debates within the tradition themselves could be explicated more fully. There are perennial issues that underlie the entire moral tradition in Judaism -- for example, between particularist and universalist ways of understanding morality, between more hierarchical and more mutual models of the covenant between God and Israel. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Jewish Ethics for the Twenty-First Century: Living in the Image of God
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    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.