Modern Sources and New Directions
for Secular Jewish Thought

1550 Beacon St, Brookline (Hebrew Senior Life)

Five sessions: October 2, 23, and 30 (to be rescheduled), November 6 and 13

10:45am - 12:15pm

Register for Adult Education Fall 2011 -<br />
Modern Sources and New Directions for Secular Jewish Thought on Eventbrite

This course will provide a dynamic introduction to several trends in secular Jewish thought today, and focus especially on 19th century traditions emerging out of the Marburg School (founded by Hermann Cohen, Germany) and Transcendentalism (founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson, America).  Whereas the Marburg school provides us with foundations for a critical theory of Jewish culture, the transcendental school provides resources for a liberal Jewish spirituality.  Both trends share a countercultural focus, a skepticism toward orthodox religion, and a critique of Jewish nationalism.  The course will conclude with a discussion of the State of Israel and the historic Zionist movement.

Dr. Avi Bernstein is a veteran teacher at the Workmen's Circle.  For a decade he was a Dean at Hebrew College, and an instructor in the acclaimed Me'ah Program. 

We will read historical documents from The Jew in the Modern World and two 20th century novels, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak*, and The Human Stain by Phillip Roth. 

* We recommend that students purchase the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volkhonsky.