restricted access Acknowledgments
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Acknowledgments A book like this attempts to acknowledge authority both more and less than it should: more, because my debts to others are innumerable, yet less, for I could never repay them. But I accept that burden of authority as my blessing. Indeed, that blessing exceeds my own grasp to fully account for the authority of personal meaning that informs my own life. Still, I am grateful for all the encouragement, support , and advice I have received in years past that helped to advance this project forward. Members of the religion department at Haverford College—David Dawson , Tracey Hucks, Naomi Koltun-Fromm, John Lardas, Anne McGuire, and Michael Sells—have all (in ways they may not even recognize) made this book possible. I am so very much at home in this department, and my respect for its faculty is sincere and binding. Haverford College too has been overly generous, supporting leave requests and funding through faculty grants. For a liberal arts college dedicated to teaching young students, Haverford cares mightily about academic excellence and the intellectual life. My colleagues in other departments here—too many to mention—further and sustain that excellence, and I have become the better scholar and teacher for it. I have not been isolated within a small circle of friends and supporters, and have sought guidance from beyond my more immediate surroundings. My colleagues in religious studies—Susannah Heschel and David Ellenson, chief among them—have always extended their precious time to review and critique my work. Members of the Works in Progress Group that meets yearly at the Association for Jewish Studies Conference in December have read versions of chapters in this book, and their counsel has been judicious and well received. My semester at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies during my year leave in 2000–2001 proved both rewarding and necessary for embarking on this book project. The serene Oxford landscapes, bountiful libraries, and the elusive but real sense of sabbatical time all encouraged a good life of friendship, research, and leisure. My family enjoyed the international community at Yarnton Manor and Wolfson College , together with punting on the river and, at least for me, local escapes to nearby pubs. My friends at Indiana University Press, especially Janet Rabinowitch and Joyce Rappaport, have guided this manuscript through some rather tortuous paths. I am forever in their debt. The generous support from the Lucius N. Littauer Founix dation brought this book to completion, and their dedication to academic scholarship is a model for us all. My wife Naomi, with our three children Ariel, Talia, and Isaiah, ¤nd me at the computer more often than they should, and I regret that. Yet their authority over me is unequivocal: Naomi leads, Talia runs, Ariel transforms, and Isaiah blesses my life. That life, I have come to understand, has roots that extend far deeper than I am usually willing to admit. Abraham Geiger has taught me that authority has many sources, and not least among them are my parents. I dedicate this book to them for their un®inching love, warmth, and grace. But even more, I recognize that authority, in at least one of its visages, is a form of ancestor worship. I am fortunate, and certainly blessed, to have ancestors worthy of veneration. I am honored by them, and hope this dedication, however small and inadequate, still persuades my parents that my life is good because theirs is too. x Acknowledgments ABRAHAM GEIGER’S LIBERAL JUDAISM ...


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