Page 11 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

Basic HTML Version

KABAKOFF / INTRODUCTION
3
th ree parts o f the work — Genesis, Leviticus and Numbers —
will have become available, and Exodus and Deuteronomy are
to appear in 1990 and 1991. The volumes contain the Hebrew
text and translation together with the much awaited commen­
tary, consisting o f interpretation , supplementary essays and
o ther features.
Last May this undertaking was celebrated at a conference spon­
sored by New York University’s department o f Hebrew and Jew­
ish Studies, in cooperation with the JPS. Dr. Nahum M. Sarna,
general editor of the commentary, underscored the aim of the
work to combine the riches of Jewish traditional exegesis with
the findings o f modern scholarship. Dr. Chaim Potok, the literary
editor, viewed the project as a core confrontation with Western
civilization in which modern tools were used to interpret ancient
teachings. He indicated that an abridged one-volume edition of
the commentary was being planned for synagogue use. It is our
hope that American Jewish scholars will be encouraged to work
also on the other books o f the Bible, so that we shall have before
long a complete JPS Bible commentary.
Any discussion o f the fields of biblical and religious studies
in America must take note of the publications of the Society of
Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion in
which many Jewish scholars publish the fruits o f their research.
The journals of these societies have now joined forces to launch
a new cooperative venture, entitled
Critical Review of Books in Re­
ligion.
The first volume o f this annual review covers 1988.
The inaugural volume o f
Critical Review
includes a section
o f Review Articles on textbook literature in some o f the sub­
disciplines o f religious studies, such as Bible, American Reli­
gious History, etc. We are pleased to note the inclusion here
o f a critical overview by Arnold Eisen o f books on Teaching
the History o f Judaism . His survey offers a guide to recently
published works o f 15 scholars that are available for use in uni­
versity and college courses. The section o f Book Reviews devotes
attention also to specific works on Judaism , covering the ancient,
medieval and modern periods.
The new venture is worthy o f the attention o f all who are
concerned with the scholarly book world. It is most gratifying
to note the openness and interest with which the burgeoning
field o f American Jewish scholarship is being greeted by the
general scholarly community.