Judaism as a Civilization
Toward a Reconstruction of American-Jewish Life
A transformative work on modern Judaism
Read the recent review of this important book in the Wall Street Journal
This classic work is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, and remains one of the most original and stimulating contributions to modern Jewish thought.- International Journal of Jewish Education Research
Judaism as a Civilization is widely considered the genesis of the Reconstructionist Movement, representing a watershed moment in modern Judaism.
In this classic book, Mordecai Kaplan introduced a new way of looking at Judaism: as an evolving religious civilization. His approach required innovation in liturgy and ritual, elimination of obsolete customs, and adjustment in light of prevailing social, political, and cultural conditions. Kaplan felt that all Jewstraditional and liberal, religious and secularcould play a part in this reconstruction.
Judaism as a Civilization, first published in 1934, remains one of the most original and thought-provoking contributions to modern Jewish thought.
About Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan
Mordecai Kaplan was born in Lithuania and immigrated with his family to the United States in 1889. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS), and received a masters degree from Columbia University. He first served as associate rabbi of Kehillath Jeshurun, an Orthodox synagogue in New York, and later joined the faculty of JTS. Kaplan continued teaching and writing until his death in 1983, at the age of 102.