Torah from Heaven

The Reconstruction of Faith

By Norman Solomon

Traditional Jewish religious belief speaks of a divinely revealed, perfect text, authoritatively expounded. The question this book addresses is one with which the author has struggled all his life: in the light of historical criticism, advances in knowledge, and changing moral attitudes, is the traditional notion of divine revelation and authoritative interpretation still valid? The focus is on Judaism and the examples are mostly drawn from that tradition, but the arguments are easy to transpose to other religions. Norman Solomon's discussion will appeal to those who seek to identify with a religious community but who are troubled by the claim of divine authority made for the scriptures of that community. Ranging across several academic disciplines, the book is addressed to people of all religions who find their heads and their hearts are not in accord with each other. It is accessible to a general readership interested in the relationship of scripture, interpretation, and religious authority, though scholars will find original observations and historical interpretations in many areas. It should find a ready place in university and popular programs in Jewish studies, general theology, and philosophy of religion. *** "A courageous new book . . . has an impressive range, from scholarship about biblical times to twenty-first century theology and almost all periods in between . . . despite all the detail in the book, it is very readable and comprehensible even for the beginner. It should be required reading for any modern woman or man who thinks seriously about Jewish theology in general and the question of Torah from heaven in particular." Martin Lockshin, Canadian Jewish News. *** "In this refreshingly fair, sophisticated, and engaging analysis of the doctrine of "Torah from Heaven" (the Jewish belief in the inerrancy and divinity of scripture), Solomon surveys the history of Jewish biblical interpretation, and concludes that every prior conception of this doctrine is lacking in either intellectual honesty or in its capacity to foster religious conviction. [He] concludes that the only religiously meaningful and intellectually coherent conception of this notion is that of myth . . . can be read by members of any religion whose faith in scripture is challenged by modern archaeological, literary, and scientific evidence . . . The book is sorely needed in Orthodox circles; it should be required reading for all Jewish seminary students, and is highly recommended for any religious individual seeking to establish intellectually stable grounds for belief in the sanctity of scripture." - Daniel Goodman, Religious Studies Review, Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2013~

312 pages

Publication Date: 1/17/2012
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781906764135