A broad phenomenon.


I very much enjoyed Michael Orbach's profile of Bible scholar James Kugel ("Professor of Disbelief," March/April 2014). In addition to providing a solid outline of Kugel's oeuvre, the piece describes, exactly, the impact--religious, intellectual and emotional--that Kugel's work has had on so many graduates of the Modern Orthodox education system. Growing up in that world, it was virtually impossible not to hear stories about the formerly faithful who had taken Kugel's classes, and similarly impossible not to encounter his work.

I'm sure Orbach would agree that this is part of an even broader phenomenon in the Modern Orthodox world than is portrayed in the piece. The crisis of faith that biblical criticism, Kugel's in particular, has caused among Modern Orthodox millennials is the basis for a major paradigm shift toward Modern Orthopraxy.: the observant practice of Judaism without the belief. This has led to an entirely new literature of apologetics...

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