Sonsino, Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Shalom in Needham, MA and a teacher at Boston College, has assembled an interesting collection of writings from various Jewish theologians and philosophers focused on their conceptualizations of G‑d. Preceding each selection is a brief introduction written by Sonsino, including a biographical sketch of the author and a synopsis of his/her major concepts. The 15 chapters include selections from the writings of many with whom I suspect the well-read Jewish reader will be familiar as well as from some lesser-known authors. I found the chapters on Abraham J. Heschel, Emil Fackenheim, Eugene Borowitz, Richard Levy and Margaret Moers Wenig to be particularly interesting and thought-provoking. Sonsino addresses in his introduction the difficulties inherent in the selection process of representative authors. From a religio-political standpoint, however, the complete absence of Orthodox thinkers appears to be pointed and deliberate. The possibilities from that world could have included Joseph B. Soloveitchik, David Hartman, Irving Greenberg and a representative from the hassidic world. From an intellectual standpoint, failing to include several Orthodox thinkers results in this small, user-friendly volume perhaps overstating its breadth in its title; perhaps Some of the Many Faces of God would be more accurate. Biblio.
William Liss-Levinson is vice president, chief strategy & operations officer of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., a consumer health research, information, and publishing company. He holds a Ph.D. in education and is a member of the board of directors of the Jewish Book Council.