Philosophers have often described theism as the belief in the existence of a “perfect being”—a being that is said to possess all possible perfections, so that it is all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent, among other qualities. But such a theology is difficult to reconcile with the God we find in the Bible and Talmud. The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources. Contributors are James A. Diamond, Lenn E. Goodman, Edward C. Halper, Yoram Hazony, Dru Johnson, Brian Leftow, Berel Dov Lerner, Alan L. Mittleman, Heather C. Ohaneson, Randy Ramal, Eleonore Stump, Alex Sztuden, and Joshua I. Weinstein.
Michael Fishbane is Nathan Cummings Distinguished Service Professor of Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago Divinity School. Trained in biblical studies and the ancient Near East at Brandeis University, he has written on rabbinic interpretation, medieval Jewish philosophy and mysticism, Hasidism, modern Jewish philosophy, and Hebrew poetry. His earlier groundbreaking historical work has provided the foundation for his more recent constructive hermeneutic theology. Among his numerous books are the award-winning
Biblical Interpretation in Ancient Israel (1985) and
Kiss of God (1994),
Biblical Myth and Rabbinic Mythmaking (2003), and
Sacred Attunement: A Jewish Theology (2008). He is, in addition, an elected member of the American Academy of Jewish Research and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.