One of the marks of a great thinker is the ability to respond to the conditions and problems of ones time by changing the terms of the conversation. By this standard, David Novak ranks as one of todays great American theologians. His work, a response to the primary issues suffusing modern Judaism - namely, what it means to be part of Western culture yet separate from its secularized form of life - has helped to make Jewish theology and Jewish philosophy thriving fields in North American university life. The first section of this book presents Novaks account of the inextricable relationship between matters philosophical and matters theological. The second section shows the implications of Novaks philosophical theology as spelled out in his writings on social ethics and theo-politics. Essays in this section also exemplify how Novak applies his theological and philosophical positions to address and adjudicate many of the central ethical concerns of our time, including abortion, war, capital punishment, sexual ethics, and health care ethics. Not too long ago the project of a publicly engaged Jewish theology or philosophy seemed to be impossible within the strictures of North American culture. The line between Athens and Jerusalem was firmly drawn. Novaks work rejects this distinction and its implications by arguing for the necessary link between philosophy and theology and, by extension, between Judaism and the multicultural society and, finally, between religion and the public square.
Literature-Fiction, History-Criticism, Regional-Cultural, Jewish,