Prophetic Peace: Judaism, Religion, and Politics, by Alick Isaacs

Reviewed by Paul L. Saal What do Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Abraham Joshua Heschel, Martin Buber, and Joseph Soloveitchik have in common? They are all Jewish or of Jewish ancestry. They were each academics and philosophers of sorts. Buber, Heschel, and Soloveitchik were all religious, the latter two were rabbis, the first two mystics. Wittgenstein…

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Jewish Law as Rebellion by Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Having heard Rabbi Lopes Cardozo lecture a few times over the past twenty years, and being familiar with his local reputation as an innovative, engaging Torah teacher, I was not disappointed by his most recent book. Jewish Law as Rebellion: A Plea for Religious Authenticity and Halachic Courage1 is a collection of his short essays,…

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“Remain in Your Calling”: Paul and the Continuation of Social Identities in 1 Corinthians, by J. Brian Tucker

  The primary aim of this in-depth study is to show how Paul negotiates and transforms existing social identities of Messiah-followers in order to extend his mission in Corinth.1 It attempts to accomplish this through a study of 1 Corinthians that builds on the author’s previous doctoral findings in 1 Corinthians 1–4 published in monograph…

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Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle, by Paula Fredriksen

  Paul persists as a polarizing and puzzling figure today. Judging by the New Testament, this was no less true in the first century! But are we stumbled by the same things as his contemporaries? Paula Fredriksen, author of Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle, insists that we misread Paul if we neglect the thorough Jewishness and…

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Healing the Schism: Barth, Rosenzweig, and the New Jewish-Christian Encounter, by Jennifer M. Rosner, and Converging Destinies: Jews, Christians, and the Mission of God, by Stuart Dauermann

In 1965, Nostra Aetate, the Roman Catholic statement on relationships with non-Christian faiths, declared that “the Jews should not be spoken of as rejected or accursed as if this followed from Holy Scripture.” On the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks noted, “Today as a result, Jews and Catholics meet not as enemies…

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Elliot Wolfson’s Open Secret: Postmessianic Messianism and the Mystical Revision of Menahem Mendel Schneerson

Elliott Wolfson’s Open Secret offers valuable insights for those able to penetrate the book’s abstruse style. In the final chapter (coined “Postface”), Wolfson finally reveals his method and hypothesis. (Incidentally, he also reveals that this was the first part he wrote, which was supposed to be the introduction, but in the middle of writing he…

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