Page 174 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

Basic HTML Version

J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
154
more careful attention than it has received. Finally, Abraham J.
Heschel has written a series of books giving poetic expression to
his highly sensitive and visionary interpretation o f Judaism:
M an Is N o t A lo n e : A P h i lo so p h y o f R e l ig io n
(Jewish Publica-
tion Society of America, 1951);
M a n ’s Q u es t fo r G o d : S tu d ie s in
P rayer an d S ym bo lism
(Scribners, 1954);
G o d in Search o f M an :
A P h i lo so ph y of Juda ism
(Farrar, Straus, and Cudahy, 1955);
B e tw e en G o d a n d M an : A n In te r p r e ta t io n o f Ju da ism
(Harper
and Row, 1959); and
T h e P ro p h e ts
(Harper and Row, 1962).
Heschel seems destined to take Buber’s place as contemporary
Judaism’s apostle to the Gentiles.
Here, then, from the perspective of one reader, are the mem-
orable scholarly works on Jewish philosophy and religion pro•
duced in the Un ited States in the twenty-five years since the
inauguration of the
Jew ish B ook A nn u a l .
Overall the record is
good, but not good enough. Considering the size of the Ameri-
can Jewish community, its favorable economic and civic position,
and the educational opportunities available to American Jews,
there should have been many more works of this quality to
report, and perhaps a larger handful of superior works. Perhaps
an imperative desideratum for American Jews is to learn to sup-
port higher Jewish education adequately, not only in rabbinical
seminaries but also in the universities, so that potential scholars
may learn by immersion in a scholarly m ilieu and atmosphere
how best to carry on their work. It cannot have escaped notice
that many of the most important of the books recorded here
were published by university presses. Increasingly, in all aspects
o f academic life, including religion and philosophy, there is a
place for the expression of Jewish interests and Jewish points of
view—provided that the modes of statement and the forms of
expression fall w ithin the range of responsible scholarly discourse.