The Promise Themes

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Chaim Potok, the author of The Promise, was a rabbi and went to rabbinical school during a time when Judaism was undergoing a deep theological upheaval. In the mid nineteenth century, a variety of German Biblical Scholars had created a school of Biblical studies that relied heavily on secular historical accounts of the origins of the Scriptures.

They thereby came to view the Scriptures, including the Torah and the Talmud, as historically fluid and not reflecting or at least not wholly reflecting the revelation and commands of God. This led to a broad secularization of European and, to a lesser extent, American intellectuals.

Consequently, many theologians were challenged to defend their faith in the light of this "higher" criticism. And they reacted in various ways. Some dug in their heels and fought for religious orthodoxy, refusing to compromise with a tradition of criticism that they regarded...

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This section contains 878 words
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