Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Post-Orthodoxy Reconsidered

Aiwac has a series of perceptive and important aspects of the 'Post-Orthodoxy' that was, in turn, prompted by Gil (and this) and the recent article about Maqor Rishon editor (and Bar Ilan graduate student) Yoav Soreq, which was translated (sort of) by Menachem Mendel (though, I will say out front, I really differ with his overall agenda).

After reacting to the criteria published for Post-Orthodoxy, I thought that there wasn't much more to say. However, riding home on the bus from Ein Boqeq today, I had time to think about the broader etiology and implications of the phenomenon. My ideas arte still under-developed, but a general direction seems fairly clear to me.

1) Post-Orthodoxy in the realm of theology is a result of the refusal, or the inability, of the Orthodox Community (especially those whose Talmudic credentials are above reproach) to creatively confront the challenges of Post-Modern culture, rather than give in to myopia (in an ironically, post-modern modern).

2) Post-Orthodoxy in the realm of theology is a direct result of so narrowing the definition of what is acceptable in the area of core belief, that many medievals would have been excluded. I say this, by the way, without accepting the overly broad canvas drawn by my friend Marc Schapiro.

3) In brief, in the realm of belief, we are witnessing the inevitable result of the theological brain death inflicted on Orthodoxy by those who, a la the bon mot of the late and lamented, Rabbi Walter Wurzburger זצ"ל, think that the verse reads: מחשבה לא תחיה.

3 comments:

Shlomo said...

The problem with your idea is that it implicitly labels "Centrist" MO as "Post-Orthodox" due to its deviation from the frummest common denominator hashkafa that's being pushed nowadays. But looking at Gil's post on Post-Orthodoxy (not Modern Orthodoxy), his list contains barely a single statement that would be acceptable to a Centrist, say, to RYBS. If you are really defining Centrism as Post-Orthodox, your definition of Post-Orthodox is quite different from everyone else's.

Mikewind Dale said...

#2, you actually don't disagree with Professor Marc Shapiro at all; he says exactly what you are. See my comment to your previous post.

Jeffrey Woolf said...

I'm glad to hear it.