The State of American Jewish Belief Revisited: At the Edge of a Crisis or at a New Threshold? Part I

March 4, 2012

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Recent studies point to declining synagogue membership and denominational identification as signs of a crisis in American Judaism. This symposium focuses attention on theological dimensions of the perceived crisis. Six leading thinkers come together to share their unique vantage points on a series of questions: Is American Judaism theologically bankrupt or is it at the cusp of a radically new beginning? How should we diagnose this perceived crisis and what proposals might counter it? How can American Judaism build on traditional Jewish thought to address today’s challenges?

This symposium is divided into five parts.

The audio posted at the top of this article includes introductory remarks by: Hal M. Lewis, president and CEO of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies; Josef Stern, William H. Colvin Professor of philosophy and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago; and Paul Mendes-Flohr, Dorothy Grant Maclear Professor in the Divinity School and the Committee on Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago.

For other presentations and discussions, click on the links below:

Part I: Welcoming Remarks
Part II: Presentations
Part III: Response and Panel Discussion
Part IV: Presentations
Part V: Response and Panel Discussion


Recorded Sunday, March 4, 2012 at the Spertus Institute.