New book by Alan Brill: Judaism and World Religions: Encountering Christianity, Islam, and Eastern Traditions

Posted on March 15th, 2012 | Filed under In Print: New Books, InterViews

“In this major new contribution, Brill builds upon his earlier path breaking work on Jewish views of other religions. With expertise in both comparative theology and in traditional Jewish texts—a rare combination indeed—he again demonstrates his impressive ability to tackle this vital topic. The work is methodologically sophisticated, as Brill critically engages with key thinkers on interreligious relations. It is also stunningly wide-ranging. He not only delves deeply into Jewish reflections on Christianity and Islam but assembles enlightening but little-known texts on Eastern religions as well. Thanks to Brill’s valuable work, scholars of Judaism and of religion are well-equipped to deal with a topic of great importance in the modern world.” -- Adam Gregerman, Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, Baltimore, MD

“Alan Brill examines the attitudes found in Jewish classical literature and contemporary writings towards western and eastern religions. Brill understands various writers inherently express a wide range of views ranging from rejecting to welcoming. The perspective is designed to argue for a more inclusive and tolerant stance based on modern mind-sets and deeper understandings of Christianity and Islam and even Judaism itself. His wide knowledge of world religions from the perspectives of inside practitioners and outside academic scholars of religion allows him to present original and thought provoking arguments for greater religious recognition of the other.” -- Herbert Basser, Queen’s School of Religion, Queen’s University, Kingston Canada

“In presenting the urgency, the possibility, but also the complexity of a Jewish engagement with other religious traditions, Brill works consistently with concrete texts and particular contexts.  Doing so, he not only speaks appropriately to Jews but challengingly to Christians.  By being uniquely Jewish, Brill’s book is a distinctive contribution to the general discussion on how to make religious sense out of religious diversity.”-- Paul Knitter, Paul Tillich Professor of Theology, World Religions, and Culture, Union Theological Seminary, New York

"Alan Brill’s work is an encyclopedic contribution to the literature on religious pluralism. It is at once a guide to the spectrum of Jewish interpretations of other faiths, an insightful analysis of the contemporary interreligious landscape and a sampler of Brill’s own comparative thinking in regard to some major traditions. Through argument and by example, this book encourages a new depth of Jewish engagement in the theological discussion of diversity."-- S. Mark Heim,  Samuel Abbot Professor of Christian Theology, Andover Newton Theological School

Judaism and World Religions is essential for a Jewish theological understanding of the various issues in encounters with the other major religions. With passion and clarity, Brill argues that in today’s world of strong religious passions and intolerance, it is necessary to go beyond secular tolerance toward moderate religious positions. Brill outlines strategies for Jews who want to remain true to traditional sources while interacting with the diversity of the world’s religions.

This companion volume to Judaism and Other Religions provides the first extensive collection of traditional and academic Jewish approaches to the religions of the world. In the majority of volume, he presents an excellent survey of the possibilities contained in the texts useful for discussing Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism from a Jewish point for view.

Alan Brill is the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Professor in honor of Sister Rose Thering at Seton Hall University, where he teaches Jewish Studies in the Graduate Department of Jewish-Christian Studies. He is active in interfaith encounter. Brill is the author of Thinking God: The Mysticism of Rabbi Zadok of Lublin and Judaism and Other Religions: Models of Understanding (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2010).

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