Page 172 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
152
1960). His
J u da ism in a C h r is tian W o r ld
(McGraw-Hill, 1966),
is an excellent example of the combination of scholarly insights
w ith the apologetic goal of proposing a m iddle road between
extreme Orthodoxy and radical desertion of Judaism, suggested
by the author's slogan “integration w ithout assimilation, accul-
turation w ithout absorption.” In addition, Gordis’ association
w ith the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions is
memorialized in
T h e R o o t an d th e B ran ch : Ju da ism a n d the
Free Soc ie ty
(University o f Chicago Press, 1962).
T h e liberal w ing has not been idle. Jack J. Cohen wrote
T h e
Case fo r R e l ig io u s N a tu ra lism : A P h i lo so ph y fo r the M o d e rn Jew
(Reconstructionist Press, 1958). Ira Eisenstein published
W h a t
W e M ean by R e l ig io n
(Behrman's Jewish Book House, 1946)
and
Ju da ism u n d e r F reedom
(Reconstructionist Press, 1956).
Eugene Kohn produced
R e l ig io n an d H um a n i ty
(Reconstruc-
tionist Press, 1953). Together with these, M ilton Steinberg’s
Basic
Juda ism
(Harcourt Brace and Co., 1947) and
T h e M a k in g o f
th e M o d e rn Jew
(Behrman’s Jewish Book House, 1948) and
Mordecai M. Kaplan’s more “sectarian” works, like
Q u es tion s
J ew s A sk : R e c o n s tru c t io n is t A n sw er s
(Reconstructionist Press,
1956), comprise a large sample of literature of the Reconstruc-
tionist movement. Reform Judaism has yielded such fruits as
S.S. Cohon’s
J u d a ism
,
a W ay o f L ife
(Un ion of American He-
brew Congregations, 1948), Abba H ille l Silver’s
W h ere Juda ism
D iffered
(Macmillan Co., 1956), Bernard J. Bamberger’s
T h e
S to ry o f Juda ism
(Union of American Hebrew Congregations,
1957), Abraham Cronbach’s
R e fo rm M o v em e n ts in Juda ism
(Bookman Associates, 1963), Solomon B. Freehof’s
R e fo rm Jew-
ish P ra c tice a n d i ts R a b b in ic B a ck g roun d
(Hebrew Un ion Col-
lege Press, 1944) and
R e c e n t R e fo rm R e sp on sa
(Hebrew Un ion
College Press, 1963). Each of the books mentioned in these brief
remarks on denominational literature has much merit. Collec-
tively they provide an overview of the more important religious
tendencies in contemporary American Jewish life.
Works in Translation
During the period of our survey, a moderate body of Jewish
philosophic and religious literature has become available to
American Jewish readers through translations. It is tempting to
begin the discussion of these works by listing Maimonides’
G u id e
o f th e P e r p le x e d
in the beautiful English translation by Shlomo
Pines, with an introduction by Leo Strauss (University of Chicago
Press, 1963), an edition that finally brings the greatest of medieval
Jewish thinkers to modern Jewish readers. T o this should be
added the continuing issuance of excellently edited and trans­