Applying Jewish Ethics: Beyond the Rabbinic Tradition introduces the reader to applied ethics and examines various social issues from contemporary and largely underrepresented Jewish ethical perspectives. The chapters explain and apply Jewish ethical ideas to contemporary issues connected to racial justice, immigration, gender justice, queer identity, and economic and environmental justice in ways that illustrate their relevance for Jews and non-Jews alike.
Jennifer A. Thompson is the Maurice Amado Professor of Applied Jewish Ethics and Civic Engagement and Director of the Jewish Studies Program at California State University, Northridge.
Allison B. Wolf is associate professor of philosophy and researcher at the Center for Migration Studies at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia.
Part I: What is Jewish Ethics?
Chapter 1: An Overview of Secular Ethics and Applied Ethics
Allison B. Wolf
Chapter 2: What is Jewish Ethics?
Jennifer A. Thompson
Part II: Applying Jewish Ethics
A Jewish Social Fabric
Chapter 3: Jewish Perspectives on Charity: A Philosophy for Hopeless Times
Chapter 4: Beyond the Binary of Silence and Speech: What Jewish Liturgy and Spirals Reveal about the Limits and Potentials of Spiritual Caregiving for Survivors of Sexual Violence
Chapter 5: A Social Fabric of Interdependence: The Ethics of Care Work
Part III: Being and Belonging
Chapter 6: Not in My Name: Jewishness, Womanhood, and the Ethics of Identification
Chapter 7: Failed Messiah: H. Leivick’s Der Goylem and the Ethics of Action
Part IV: Enacting Justice
Chapter 8: Hans Jonas’ Ethics of Responsibility in an Age of Pervasive Technology
Chapter 9: Views from Far and Near: Jewish Memory and Culture in the Aftermath of Violence in Argentina
Chapter 10: A Judaic Approach to Immigration (In)Justice in the Americas.
Applying Jewish Ethics: Beyond the Rabbinic Tradition offers readers a long-overdue interdisciplinary interpretation of Jewish ethics accompanied by a clear account of how Jewish moral concepts can expand our basic understandings of today’s most thorny social problems. Wolf and Thompson make a clear and concise case for why applied ethics needs Jewish ethics. Their carefully curated anthology counters misconceptions about Jewish ethics with accessible explanations of basic Jewish moral principles. Contributors to the volume illustrate the normative power of these principles through a series of engagements with questions of environmental justice, immigration, gender justice, queer identities, and more. Anyone curious about Jewish applied ethics should start with this book!
With Applying Jewish Ethics: Beyond the Rabbinic Tradition, co-editors Jennifer A. Thompson and Allison B. Wolf have created a masterful interdisciplinary text demonstrating how Jewish social justice is deeply relevant to our time. This collection takes an ancient and complex system of Jewish ethics and applies it to contemporary social challenges, underscoring how millennia-old ideas are profoundly pertinent to today’s gargantuan problems, whether linked to gender, immigration, queerness, socioeconomics, race, or the environment. Perhaps most significantly, Thompson and Wolf have revealed that the textual canon of Jewish ethics serves as a nexus of thought for Jews and non-Jews, the secular and religious, and lay people and scholars alike.