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Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century [Hardcover]

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Item description for Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century by Marc H. Ellis...

Turmoil still grips the Middle East and fear now paralyzes post-9/11 America. The comforts and challenges of this book are thus as timely as when first published in 1987. With new reflections on the future of Judaism and Israel, Ellis underscores the enduring problem of justice. Ellis' use of liberation theology to make connections between the Holocaust and contemporary communities from the Third World reminds both Jews and oppressed Christians that they share common ground in the experiences of abandonment, suffering, and death. The connections also reveal that Jews and Christians share a common cause in the battle against idolatry-represented now by obsessions for personal affluence, national security, and ethnic survival. According to Ellis, Jews and Christians must never allow the reality of anti-Semitism to become an excuse for evading solidarity with the oppressed peoples-be they African, Asian, Latin American or, especially, Palestinian.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   260
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9.75"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Jul 1, 2004
Publisher   Baylor University Press
ISBN  1932792007  
ISBN13  9781932792003  

Availability  0 units.

More About Marc H. Ellis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Marc H. Ellis is University Professor of Jewish Studies, Professor of History and Founding Director of the Center for Jewish Studies at Baylor University. He is the author and editor of more than twenty books, including "Encountering the Jewish Future".

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Product Categories

2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Judaism > Theology

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > General

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Reviews - What do customers think about Toward a Jewish Theology of Liberation: The Challenge of the 21st Century?

Unethical  Mar 19, 2006
This book starts right out with a forward by Desmond Tutu, who starts by telling us that he's not anti-Semitic. I think that the Jewish community will have to decide if he's right about that. Tutu then tells about the Jewish misfortunes in (presumably) World War Two: "they were humiliated, they were dispossessed, they were driven from their homes." That's true. But Tutu just can not bring himself to add that millions of them were systematically murdered! And he then adds "how could it be possible that people who experienced such untold suffering could now in their turn through the Israeli government treat others as abominably as they were treated?" Well, there is a very simple answer. They don't. And were I to say what Tutu wrote, I would expect to be called an anti-Semite.

Tutu does not stop with this, however. He adds a taunt: "God" ... "will not be mocked forever. This is a moral universe and all the arrogantly powerful who treat God's favourites" ... "harshly will get their comeuppance." It just could be that the Arabs are indeed more than a little arrogant and may be treating the Jews harshly and unfairly, but Tutu does not appear to consider this.

Once we get into the actual book, Ellis tells us that he used to be "ignorant" of the history of Israel. To a large extent, I suspect he still is. Still, when he discusses the Holocaust, he calls it "the death of six million Jews and the attempted annihilation of our entire people." Maybe he ought to tell Tutu that!

The author then talks about the views of Irving Greenberg as well as those of Nathan and Ruth Ann Perlmutter. Greenberg appears to have some sensible things to say. So do the Perlmutters, who discuss anti-Zionism. As Ellis points out, what shocks the Perlmutters is not so much the anti-Semitic tirades at the UN "but the lack of response from other delegates." That's fair.

But then Ellis tells of the views of Shorris, who comes up with a totally absurd caricature of the views of the "Jewish neoconservative movement." I'm not a conservative, but I can see that Shorris is way out of line, and so is Ellis for taking what he says seriously. Ellis also discusses the idea that some Jews ought to try to prevent a second Holocaust (one of the Israeli Jews). He makes fun of that idea, but I think that given the enormous barrage of anti-Zionist propaganda, such a threat needs to be taken seriously.

Ellis also mentions Rubenstein, who "states that Germany `demonstrated that a modern state can successfully organize an entire people for its own extermination.'" Perhaps Ellis ought to take this to heart, given that if there is indeed a second Holocaust, Ellis himself may well be seen as just one more Jewish official who gave some support to the perpetrators of genocide.

The author asks about how to challenge Jewish views. That is more than fair. But he then comes up with the following absurdity: "Who, then, is to challenge the Jewish framework of renewal if not one who has suffered under its heel?" Um, does he mean Jezebel, who was murdered by the Jews? Or, maybe, does he mean some victims of the Jewish Zealots of the First Century AD? Or does he mean some recent opponents of Jewish rights, such as the German National Socialists? He has to be kidding.

Ellis seems to have nothing but praise for the vicious anti-Semitism of Naim Ateek. Ellis quotes Ateek at length. I find it Ateek's demands for Jews to falsely confess to crimes so that they can be "forgiven" and oppressed quite disgusting.

The author comments that "it just might be that the real prejudice of the day is found neither in the United Nations, nor in the Jewish critique of Israel, but in the Jewish community, where images of the unwashed, the ignorant, and the terrorist are repeated ad nauseum." This is preposterous. Is Ellis implying that it would be better for the Jewish community to itself adopt a philosophy of racism, arrogance, and self-destruction, with all the trappings: aggression, lies, terrorism, and suicide bombings? I think it is far better for a community to recognize that such a philosophy is counterproductive and to try to stay as far away from it as possible.

This is a ghastly book. Another reviewer pretty much called it a blood libel at best, and I agree.
Marc Ellis distorts facts and replaces them with Fiction  Oct 13, 2005
Marc Ellis, thinks that Blacks Hawks fly off the pages of the Torah has ideas about the State of Israel that loom somewhere between fantasy, and a deep hatred of Israel and being a Jew. This book blames Jews on the breaking of the Covenant, and is blood libel at it's best.
A must read!  Apr 24, 2005
While I wholeheartedly concur with the content of the review by Midwest Book Review, I must point out that the book is NOT by Susannah Heschel. The book is writen by Jewish Liberation Theologian, Marc Ellis. It is a must read for every person of conscience!
A powerful and transcendent work of Judaic philosophy   Dec 10, 2004
Now in an updated and expanded third edition, Toward A Jewish Theology Of Liberation is a clarion call to reconsider commonly held assumptions regarding Jewish identity and politics. Knowledgably written by Susannah Heschel (a professor of American and Jewish studies), Toward A Jewish Theology Of Liberation is as timely in the post-September 11th world as it was when it was first published in 1987. Susannah Herschel stresses the connection between the Holocaust and contemporary oppressed communities from the Third World, exhorting that Jews and Christians cannot allow anti-Semitism to become an excuse to deny solidarity with oppressed peoples of any race or faith - whether African, Asian, Latin American, or Palestinian. Also groundbreaking in its call to unite against Jews and Christians against idolatry - represented today by obsessions for personal affluence, national security, and ethnic survival - Toward A Jewish Theology Of Liberation is a powerful and transcendent work of Judaic philosophy and contemporary theology.

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