Table of Contents

From Crypto-Jews to Crypto-Judaism.
Substitute faiths.
The nature of Jewish theology.
Faith finding meaning.
Living in the covenant.
Rendezvous with God.
Meaning despite evil and absurdity.
Hope despite experience. Recent sociological studies have confirmed the persistence of profound internal challenges to the continuity of Judaism as a religion and to the Jews as a people. These challenges are eroding the foundations of Jewish identity and are threatening the authenticity of Judaism as a historical living faith-tradition. This work "makes the case" for a return to Jewish theology as a means of restoring Jewish authenticity and for reversing self-destructive trends. After identifying and critiquing various "substitute faiths" embraced by many contemporary Jews in Chapters One and Two, the nature and goals of Jewish theology are examined (Chapter Three). Rather than depicting theology as "faith seeking understanding," the chapters that follow present a comprehensive theology of Judaism, deeply rooted in classical Jewish texts, and an understanding of theology as "faith seeking meaning (Chapter Four). Rather than portraying theology, as often has been the case, as a systematic creed imposed from without, theology is presented here as an outcome of the dialogue between an individual's quest for meaning and the spiritual and intellectual resources of a historical faith-tradition-in this case, Judaism. Features of faith such as living in a covenantal relationship (Chapter Five), seeking a rendezvous with God in the self, the sacred word, the world, and the sacred and ethical deed, are offered as paths to individual meaning and to creating one's life as a work of art (Chapter Six), despite the challenges of evil and absurdity encountered in daily experience (Chapters Seven and Eight).