The Value of the Particular: Lessons from Judaism and the Modern Jewish Experience

Festschrift for Steven T. Katz on the Occasion of his Seventieth Birthday


In this tribute to Steven T. Katz on the occasion of his seventieth birthday, Michael Zank and Ingrid Anderson present sixteen original essays written by senior and junior scholars in comparative religion, philosophy of religion, modern Judaism, and theology after the Holocaust, fields of inquiry where Steven Katz made major contributions over the course of his distinguished scholarly career.

The authors of this volume, specialists in Jewish history, especially the modern experience, and Jewish thought from the Bible to Buber, offer theoretical and practical observations on the value of the particular. Contributions range from Tim Knepper’s reevaluation of the ineffability discourse to the particulars of the Settlement Cookbook, examined by Nora Rubel as an American classic.

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Pages: 1–4
Spinoza on Love
Pages: 103–121
Michael Zank, Ph.D. (1994), Brandeis University, is Professor of Religion at Boston University where he also serves as the director of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies.

Ingrid Anderson, Ph.D. (2014), Boston University, is a Lecturer in the College of Arts and Sciences and an affiliate of the Elie Wiesel Center for Judaic Studies at that University.
The Value of the Particular provides proper testimony to the career and influence of its honoree. The articles are of uniformly high quality and the authors of these essays freely dialogue with Katz and his scholarship in their own writings, thereby bearing direct witness to the impact his career has had upon modern scholarship in these diverse yet overlapping fields. The editors are to be congratulated for their superb work and we can all hope that Professor Katz continues his scholarly productivity for years to come. -David Ellenson, Brandeis University and Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, RRJ 20 (2017) 279-297.
List of Contributors
Introduction, Michael Zank
Part I: Comparative Mysticism
Effable Ineffabilities: Steven Katz's Contribution to the Study of Ineffability Discourse, Timothy Knepper
Conceptualizations of Tzimtzum in Baroque Italian Kabbalah, Moshe Idel
Hasidic Derashah as Illuminated Exegesis, Nehemia Polen
A Matter of Context: Comparing Kabbalah and Neo-Confucianism, Yair Lior
Part II: Philosophy of Religion
Spinoza on Love, David Novak
Mendelssohn and Kant: Ethics and Aesthetics, Leah Hochmann
Martin Buber on Monotheism and its Discontents, Paul Mendes-Flohr
The Eros of Ethics: Posthumous Writings of Emmanuel Levinas, Seán Hand
Part III: Modern Judaism
Hebrew Justice: Reconstruction for Today, Youde Fu
Eternal Duration and Temporal Compresence: The Influence of Ḥabad on Joseph B. Soloveitchik, Elliot Wolfson
Martin Buber in America: An Ambivalent Reception, Asher Biemann
A “Jewish” Joy of Cooking? How a 20th Century Cookbook Containing Frog’s Legs, Snails, and Ham Became a Beloved Jewish Icon, Nora Rubel
Part IV: Post Holocaust Theology
Reenacted Humanism: If This is a Man and Primo Levi’s ‘New Bible’, Sharon Portnoff
Theology as Ethics: Emmanuel Levinas as Jewish Post-Holocaust Thinker, Didier Pollefeyt
Ethics, Meaning, and the Absurd in Elie Wiesel’s The Trial of God and Albert Camus’s The Plague, Ingrid Anderson
The Holocaust: An Indic Perspective, Arvind Sharma
Steven T. Katz Selected Publications
Beginning and advanced students of Jewish and comparative mysticism, Jewish thought from the Bible to Buber, modern Jewish history, post-Holocaust theology, and American Jewish culture.
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