A Prophetic Peace: Judaism, Religion, and Politics by Alick Isaacs

By Alick Isaacs

Challenging deeply held convictions approximately Judaism, Zionism, warfare, and peace, Alick Isaacs's wrestle adventure within the moment Lebanon struggle provoked him to look for the way of reconciling the belligerence of faith with its messages of peace. In his insightful readings of the texts of Biblical prophecy and rabbinic legislations, Isaacs attracts at the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Jacques Derrida, Abraham Joshua Heschel, and Martin Buber, between others, to suggest an bold imaginative and prescient of religiously encouraged peace. Rejecting the concept of Jewish theology as a fan of battle and vengeance, this eloquent and relocating paintings issues to the ways that Judaism could be a route to peace. A Prophetic Peace describes an academic venture known as conversing Peace whose objective is to carry contributors of alternative perspectives jointly to proportion various understandings of peace.

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Extra info for A Prophetic Peace: Judaism, Religion, and Politics

Sample text

Theology exposes the flaws in politics so that we remain sober about our political aspirations. Political sobriety is not there to calm our passions. Its purpose is to redirect them toward God. 18 The temptation of politics and power to give (inevitably flawed) political expression to great ideals diverts attention from the religious sensibility that those ideals might otherwise signal and cultivate. The attempt to concretize ultimate political ideals (messianism) leads to inappropriate dissatisfaction with ideals as they are.

But at the same time, we are blocked from thinking that our actions might lead to completion and absolute resolution. There will always be more work to do. When Rabbi Tarfon says that the work is not ours to complete, it is because the role of humanity is to work in an incomplete and irreparably broken world forever. The ultimate purpose of this endless work transcends its more direct results. However, lest we think that endless work is pointless, Rabbi Tarfon insists that we are not free to shrink away from it.

The prophecies of Isaiah, Jesus, and Muhammad are at stake here. These ultimate visions that lurk behind the scenes of the conflict are blocked from emerging onto the stage of political reality by each other and by any number of intractable difficulties and obstacles that lie in the way of their realization. It is perhaps a dangerous thing to force an illusion of clarity on a situation filled with such enigmas, but this is what politicians and diplomats must do to reach agreements. How else can one respond?

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