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About this product
- DescriptionMordecai M. Kaplan (1881-1983), founder of Reconstructionism, was a pre-eminent American Jewish thinker and rabbi. His life embodies the American Jewish experience of the first half of the 20th century. With passionate intensity and uncommon candour, Kaplan compulsively recorded his experience in his journal (some 10,000 pages). He confided his personal involvements with prominent Jewish leaders such as Chaim Weizmann, Solomon Schechter and Louis Brandeis, and his impressions of key Jewish historical moments such as the founding of the Hebrew University in 1925. We see him wrestling with his concept of God and the problem of evil. In his journal he railed against the pettiness of his congregants and the difficulties of institutional life. But above all he was obsessed by the need to modernize Judaism's traditional religious categories in order to save the Jewish people. His ideal was a functional Judaism that would flourish in an American democratic society. Twenty-seven volumes long, this diary was previously available only to scholars. This first volume of Communings of the Spirit covers Kaplan's early years as a rabbi, teacher of rabbis and community leader. Kaplan, who trained rabbis for half a century, gives us an inside picture of life at the Jewish Theological Seminary, the centre of Conservative Judaism in America. He records his masterful weekly sermons, which were attended regularly by his students. With unflinching candour, he reveals his successes and failures, uncertainties and self-doubts. Undeterred by attacks on his radical beliefs, he never wavered in the pursuit of a more dynamic Judaism. Communings of the Spirit is a very human document that should interest scholars and students of American Jewish history and culture, as well as the general reader interested in the evolution of Judaism in America.
- Author BiographyMel Scult is a professor of Judaic studies at Brooklyn College and a professor of history at City University of New York, Graduate Center. He is the co-editor of Dynamic Judaism: The Essential Writings of Mordecai Kaplan (Fordham University Press, 1989) and The American Judaism of Mordecai Kaplan (New York University Press. 1990), and author of Judaism Foces the Twentieth Century: A Biography of Mordecai Kaplan (Wayne State University Press, 1993).
- Author(s)Mordecai M. Kaplan
- PublisherWayne State University Press
- Date of Publication31/08/2001
- Series TitleAmerican Jewish Civilization S.
- Place of PublicationDetroit, MI
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintWayne State University Press
- Content Note22 illustrations
- Weight880 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine34 mm
- Volume editorMel Scult
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