Judaism and Christianity Page 18...

A signally important work for anyone seriously concerned with Judaism or Christianity. It may prove to be a seminal work, a work that is interesting to both Jews and Christians. No doubt, it has faults, but a lack of nobility is not one of them.

9 A Biographical Introduction In this way, his contrasts tend to become too neat and might even become entirely abstract and untrue to experience if it were not for his unusual fund of historical knowledge. He is never at a loss for illustra-tions that are not only pertinent but so important that they require us to reconsider our preconceptions. Baeck’s erudition is never second- hand, never a mat-ter of being able to cite some dubious tract that comes in handy, never an obtrusively learned way of saying what we knew anyway. He read the Hebrew Scriptures in Hebrew, the New Testament and the Greek philoso-phers in Greek, Tertullian and Augustine and some of Luther in Latin, and, of course, German literature in German; and instead of producing convenient but ques-tionable excerpts, he used quotations that came to him from an intimate knowledge of the sources. Since he always made his own translations, which occasionally involved new interpretations, the translations in the present volume often had to deviate from the standard versions. One feature of Baeck’s style that may strike some readers as more teutonic than talmudic is that in a sense it is deeply uncritical. Possible objections are scarcely ever considered, and when they are introduced it is often merely as foils for neat retorts. Baeck is the preacher and he is “ telling us”— even in the long essay in which he criticizes the “ romantic” conceptions of the finished man and of finished truth while upholding the ideals of search, quest, and step- by- step approxima-tion. He seems to write as if he had the truth and merely faced the problem of communicating it. But what he does tell us is so profoundly opposed to traditional ideas about Judaism and Christianity that he simply did not have to worry lest the reader might be taken in before considering the matter fully. There was no dan-   C h a p t e r Home  | T O C For use on stand- alone, non- institutional computers only. To purchase Scholar PDF version with advanced functionality, go to www. publishersrow. com

Judaism and Christianity


About Book Judaism and Christianity

Front MatterTitle PageCopyright PageA NOTE TO THE READERCONTENTSJUDAISM AND CRISTIANITYLEO BAECK: A Biographical Introduction by Walter Kaufmann1 THE SON OF MAN2 THE GOSPEL AS A DOCUMENT OF THE HISTORY OF THE JEWISH FAITHPREFACETRADITIONSTHE EVENTSTHE SAYINGS AND THE PARABLESTHE PARABLES3 THE FAITH OF PAUL4 MYSTERY AND COMMANDMENT5 ROMANTIC RELIGIONROMANTICISMPAULTHE EXPERIENCE OF FAITHCULTURE AND HISTORYTHE SACRAMENTTHE ROMANTIC CHURCHROMANTIC TRUTHTHE COMMANDMENT AND THE DEEDETHICSTHE SENTIMENTALCASUISTRYHUMANITYREDEMPTIONTHE MESSIANIC IDEA
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