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Darwinism has attracted proportionately less attention from Jewish thinkers than from Christian thinkers. One significant reason for the disparity is that the theodicies created by Jews to contend with the catastrophes which punctuated Jewish history are equally suited to address the massive extinctions which characterize natural history. Theologies of divine hiddenness, restraint, and radical immanence, coming together in the sixteenth-century mystical cosmogony of Isaac Luria, have been rehabilitated and reworked by modern Jewish thinkers in the post-Darwin era.

Keywords: Abraham Joshua Heschel; Darwinism; Eliezer Berkovits; Hans Jonas; divine self-restraint; evolution; exile; hiding of God's face; immanence; post-Holocaust theology; suffering; theodicy; typology; zimzum

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Shai Cherry is the Education Director at Tifereth Israel Synagogue in San Diego, California. He may be contacted at 13727 Condesa Drive, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA;, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2011

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