Mind, Body and Judaism: The Interaction of Jewish Law With Psychology and Biology

David Shatz (editor), Joel B. Wolowelsky (editor)
Publisher: Ktav
The essays in this volume focus primarily on the interaction of Torah with the disciplines of psychology and biology. The first section deals with the more general issue of science and religion. Three prominent scholars with recognized expertise in the secular disciplines discuss the general issue, followed by a prominent scientist with extensive training in Torah discussing the more specific question of evolution. The second section, “Judaism and Mental Heath Forum: A Fictional Case with Commentaries,” explores the issue of psychology and religion through a series of responses to a fictional case in which a psychiatrist unfamiliar with Orthodox Judaism attempts to treat an “obsessed” religious personality. The final sections deal with the interface between biology and religion. The symposium on “Judaism, Genetic Engineering and the Cloning of Humans” explores such issues as, What are the moral and religious limits of the new technologies, their appropriate and inappropriate uses? Are these technologies really welcome? How shall we understand human identity when some people will have had no parents ? Then, moving from the beginning of life to its end, “The Halakhic Definition of Death in Light of Medical History” places the current halakhic debate on whether brain death constitutes halakhic death in the context of a history of the past debates on defining the end of life.

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