We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR
title

Paganism - Christianity - Judaism

A Confession of Faith

Written by Max Brod, introdcution by Eric Gottgetreu and translated by William W

Publication Year: 2010

Now remembered primarily as Franz Kafta's friend and literary executor, Max Brod was an accomplishered thinker and writer in his own right. In this volume, he considers the nature and differences between Judaism and Christianity, addressing some of the most perplexing questions at the heart of human existence.

“One of the most famous and widely discussed books of the 1920’s, Max Brod’s Paganism—Christianity—Judaism, has at last found its way into English translation to confront a new generation of readers. Max Brod is best remembered today as the literary editor and friend of Franz Kafka. In his day, however, he was the more famous of the two by far. A major novelist, playwright, poet, essayist, and composer, he was also, as this book demonstrates, a serious thinker on the perennial questions that are at the heart of human existence. . . .Some of his judgments are open to question. Still, with all its limitations, this is a forthright and passionate proclamation of the uniqueness of Judaism. Paganism—Christianity—Judaism was an intellectual and spiritual event when it was first published and it remains a valuable document even now.” —Rabbi Jack Riemer, Hadassah
 

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

read more

Foreword to the English Translation

pdf iconDownload PDF (348.6 KB)
pp. vii-xiii

It is hardly surprising that during this long interval the author's experiences-mostly painful ones-have multiplied and his insights have somewhat matured. A Greek sage said long ago: "Only beatings lead to education" -an observation that Goethe would later make the motto of his autobiography. My own generation has received too...

read more

1. The Three Powers

pdf iconDownload PDF (709.2 KB)
pp. 3-12

The shortcomings of such a procedure are well-known. The visible and tangible world cannot be caught. It escapes through the holes of the net. The author is hence reminded not to over-estimate himself and particularly his first formulas, but rather to refine them more and more so as to come close to reality, keeping in mind all...

read more

2. Noble and Ignoble Misfortune

pdf iconDownload PDF (945.2 KB)
pp. 13-25

Clearly distinguishable from that unavoidable misfortune there is a demonic horde of obscure abominations which seem to attach to man in an equally inescapable manner, and yet, as seen again and again from the examples of individuals and of historical development in general, they are rejected and burst like bubbles. In this cruel...

read more

3. The Realm of Freedom in Judaism

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 26-44

I shall prove later that this deviation of Christianity from the Jewish attitude is not a coincidence. It is not a secondary distinction but rather an immediate consequence of the basic structure of Christianity with its belief in Christ or, more exactly, in the vicarious sacrificial death of the Son of God, for the sins of all mankind and...

read more

4. The Realm of Humility in Judaism

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.4 MB)
pp. 45-76

For the time being we are not concerned with the freedom of the will. The question is not whether man's will is predetermined but rather how far the influence of the will reaches, be it determined or not. Here we conclude that our decision can create the deed, the proper conduct, but not the desired feeling, like kindness, love of...

read more

5. The Incompatibility of the Correlated

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 77-95

Ignoble misfortune requires active intervention, noble misfortune- except for the lowest level-humble waiting. These attitudes exclude each other. He who is eager to interfere soon acquires the wild charge of a Theodore Roosevelt, a sound eagerness for hunting, laughing cheeks tanned by the air of the sea, and the facts of noble...

read more

6. Grace and the This-Worldly Miracle

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.4 MB)
pp. 96-114

Of him who has become profoundly aware of the "incompatibility of the contrasts" and has been exalted through grace, Christianity demands a renunciation of this world. The Christian thus "reborn" turns away from this world. According to the Protestant view, his good or evil deeds are of no concern any longer, since sin has been...

read more

7. Love as a This-Worldly Miracle: Dante, Kierkegaard

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 115-140

Two great lovers, Christians of the very first order, come close to me Jewish attitude towards the world, as far as their experience is concerned. We shall still have to investigate their particular attitude to the Christ-idea as the cause of that strange spiritual relationship. We are talking of Dante and...

read more

8. Love as a This-Worldly Miracle: The Song of Songs

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.9 MB)
pp. 141-168

For love is impossible without a positive attitude towards this world, as it is viewed by Judaism, at least potentially. Without that positive attitude each one of us is tied to God with a wire, and we act without being connected with one another, in an ethical puppet theater. To the consistent Christian, a direct feeling between man...

read more

9. The Faulty Foundation of Christianity

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.5 MB)
pp. 169-201

These are the elements of Judaism which we have uncovered: the distinction between noble and ignoble misfortune, the call of man to face both complexes with the proper attitude, conscious of his moral freedom as far as ignoble misfortune is concerned, and, aware of his shortcomings, humbled in the face of noble misfortune; we have...

read more

10. The Christian Grace of Generalization: Paul and Jesus

pdf iconDownload PDF (2.1 MB)
pp. 202-229

This is true as long as we stick to historical facts. But it is incorrect if behind the lights and shades of history we see the solitary and unseemly lamp of the soul in motion. It is true that Paul quite literally created the construction. Jesus himself mentioned hardly anything about it, but even this proves nothing, since we see Jesus only...

read more

11. The Christian–Pagan Amalgamation

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.7 MB)
pp. 230-253

But the final word has not yet been said. I caught the Christian stream at its middle section, where, having run through the clever discussions of scholasticism, it passes by the cities of the sixteenth century with their religious concerns and their decisive attempt though following the wrong direction-of reestablishing the first...

read more

12. Judaism and Internationalism

pdf iconDownload PDF (855.7 KB)
pp. 254-265

It can of course not be predicted in what manner Judaism would exercise its influence on Christianity. A direct way seems neither desirable nor possible. Nevertheless, if Jewish thinking were really known in the world, it would have a reforming and invigorating effect on religiosity, and stimulate a creative development within the...

read more

Epilogue: Concerning the Talmud

pdf iconDownload PDF (636.7 KB)
pp. 266-274

And yet I think that great strides could be made if Jewish thought as expressed in the Talmud were to become known to non-Jews as well as to modern Jews, although it is almost impossible to read the Talmud-in the original or in a translation-without the help of an instructor. And even a teacher might not be interested in those...

Index of Persons

pdf iconDownload PDF (166.5 KB)
pp. 275-276


E-ISBN-13: 9780817385477
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817356637

Publication Year: 2010