Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Would You Buy This Book?

In essays as likely to turn to baseball, Denzel Washington, and the NASDAQ as to Macbeth, quantum physics and psychoanalysis, William Kolbrener provides powerful –and often surprising – insights into how open mindedness allows for authentic Jewish commitment in an age otherwise defined by fundamentalism and unbelief.

Open Minded Torah presents – on topics ranging from parenting a son with Down syndrome to Biblical criticism to Talmudic interpretation of dreams – a perspective on Torah which emphasizes skepticism, creativity and the need to embrace difference. Through a personal synthesis of Western and Jewish learning, popular culture and philosophy, Kolbrener offers a compelling new vision where being open minded allows for a non-dogmatic and committed Jewish life. Informed by Kolbrener’s considerable erudition, but always accessible, the essays of Open Minded Torah show that skepticism informs belief, commitment grounds creativity, and non-defensive receptivity makes individual autonomy possible.

For every person, it is said, there is a corresponding letter in the Torah: this innovative collection shows Kolbrener writing his letter, and providing the inspiration for others to write their own.

13 comments:

ilanadavita said...

When will it be released?

TikunOlam said...

Sounds facinating. However, my 2 cents, it had broader appeal until the end where you are likely to turn away non believers who would read the book based on the rest of the intro.

wdk said...

Plan for release is late winter or early spring of 2011 - I have to finish it - this summer, I hope!

And yes, TO, the book is a kind of paradox - and I'm finding that there are parts of the title (there are those who reject that out of hand), the essays, and I assume the book itself which people don't, and may not, like. The blurb reflects that as well - though I'm hoping that as with the book itself, people from across the spectrum - because it is definitely NOT just for believers - will read the book. I am hoping that readers who share your sensibility will not be to put off.

Just an addition: someone responded to my tweet yesterday, read the blurb, and said she would certainly not read my book, nor let her children read it. She added the prayer that I not mislead anyone into heresy. I don't think she's following me on twitter any more.

TikunOlam said...

Well, I would be happy to read the book. It was the note about corresponding letter in the Torah that made me think some might feel, oh frummy book. Prior to that, it sounded like it *was* for non believers alike. Either way, definitely look forward to reading it.

wdk said...

I definitely understand where you are coming from - and I definitely don't want it to attract a frummy audience (only) since it's really not a frummy book. Trying create a balance - and to elicit interest without alienating any segment of what I hope will be a broad audience!

noni said...

Yes, if it has the right 'haskamos.'

Seriously, though, it looks good. I'd be curious to read it. Re the blurb: I don't know about the last paragraph, it sounds a little corny. I think I understand what you're getting at but I think that net-net it probably distances more readers than it draws in.

wdk said...

no haskamos please!

Lindsey Shapiro said...

Just want to say "Be'Sha'a Tova"!
Look forward to having a hard copy and giving itb as gifts.

政儒 said...

一個人的價值,應該看他貢獻了什麼,而不是他取得了什麼..................................................

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