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The Jewish Need for Theology

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Chapter Summary

The Christian, particularly the Protestant, often thinks of religion as the ability to affirm a creed, a content of belief, as well as the life, individual and communal, which flows from this faith. But for the Jew religion cannot be so easily identified with the affirmation of a creed, and the distinction between the "secular" and the "religious", which is so basic to Christian thought, has never been applicable to Judaism. The leadership of what is purportedly the Jewish religious community is, as a whole, uninterested in theology and is convinced that theology has nothing to do with truly practical questions like the goals of the community's activity, the methods which are appropriate to reaching them, or the criteria by which either might be judged. If anything, rabbis and laymen alike have an antipathy to Jewish theology which among the more articulate and knowledgeable has congealed into an ideology.

Keywords: Christian thought; Jewish theology; Judaism

10.1163/9789004269996_004
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