Thinking About God Jewish Views

About the Book

A Top Ten Book for Parish Ministry from the Academy of Parish Clergy

Who—or what— is God? Is God like a person?  Does God have a gender?  Does God have a special relationship with the Jewish people?  Does God intervene in our lives, as individuals and as a nation?  Is God good—and, if yes, why does evil persist in the world?

In investigating how Jewish thinkers have approached these and other questions, Tuling elucidates many of the diverse, contradictory, and sophisticated ways to think about God in Jewish tradition.
Concurrently, Thinking about God: Jewish Views addresses the genuine intertextual nature of evolving Jewish God concepts. Just as in Jewish thought the Bible and other historical texts are living document, still present and relevant to the conversation unfolding now; just as a Jewish theologian examining a core concept will respond to the full tapestry of Jewish thought on the subject all at once; this book 1) is organized topically; 2) covers Jewish history from the biblical to the post-modern era; and 3) highlights the interplay between texts over time, including how the later texts participate in the ongoing process of contemporary Jewish commentary.
A highly accessible resource for introductory students, Thinking about God also makes important, yet challenging theological texts understandable.  By breaking down each selected text into its core components, Tuling helps the reader to absorb it both on its own term and in the context of essential theological questions of the ages.

Readers of all backgrounds will discover new ways to contemplate God.

*2020 Academy of Parish Clergy award, a Top 10 Book of the Year speaking to the needs and interests of parish clergy

We’re using Thinking about God as the text for our Jewish studies discussion group at Temple Beth Shalom of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Our small intellectually lively group has met, usually bi-weekly, for several decades, every year focusing on a text that illuminates an important theme in Jewish history and thought. The group is finding the book informative and provocative.”Robert Seltzer, Professor Emeritus, Hunter College CUNY

In guiding the reader to think in different ways about God, Rabbi Kari H. Tuling proves herself a master pedagogue who engages the reader on every page. This is an important religious book!”—Rabbi David Ellenson, chancellor emeritus, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion

 “What a comprehensive and exceptionally accessible complement to the Jewish studies classroom. Tuling’s analysis is delightfully methodical—thoughtful observations and comparisons about Jewish belief promulgated within traditional sources, subsequently challenged by modern emancipatory influences, and further disrupted by post-modern interrogations into the very necessity of God. At the same time, in leading the reader beyond conventional texts on Jewish thought, this work has much in common with the creative, ground-breaking theological reflections of Buber, Levinas, and Rosenzweig.”—Jonathan R. Slater, director, Jewish Studies Program, SUNY Plattsburgh

“This is a great book—a wonderful resource for anyone teaching or learning about Jewish theology. Accessible yet scholarly, it opens up critical discussions about what Jews have believed in the past and the present, and therefore helps shape the Jewish future. A truly valuable addition to all Jewish bookshelves.”Rabbi Elyse Goldstein, author of ReVisions: Seeing Torah through a Feminist Lens

Thinking about God presents a fresh, intertextual approach to Jewish theology that will be attractive to students and instructors alike. Furthermore, Tuling offers clear and accessible examples of philosophical concepts, and walks readers step-by-step through complicated texts.”Rabbi Oren J. Hayon, senior rabbi, Congregation Emanu El, Houston

“Kari Tuling takes you by the hand and guides you to an understanding and appreciation of Judaism’s most profound teachings about God. Thinking about God is an invaluable resource for the university and adult education classroom.”Gila Safran Naveh, department head, Judaic Studies, McMicken College of Arts and Sciences

Rabbi Kari H. Tuling

(Rabbinic ordination, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, 2004; PhD, Hebraic and Cognate Studies, Hebrew Union College—Jewish Institute of Religion, Cincinnati, 2013) is a rabbi serving Congregation Kol Haverim in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Previously, she served as the rabbi at Temple Beth Israel of Plattsburgh, New York, and as Jewish chaplain, adjunct instructor, and Hillel co-advisor, at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh. She has taught at the State University of New York, Plattsburgh and has been an academic presenter, journal author, and adjunct faculty at the University of Cincinnati, Department of Jewish Studies.

Book Reviews

Study Guide

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