Textual Reasoning

A Brief History

Textual Reasoning is the name of the electronic journal and e-mail discussions of the Postmodern Jewish Philosophy Network. This network was founded in 1991 by Peter Ochs, Steven Kepnes, Robert Gibbs, and others.

The following is a self definition taken from volume 1, no. 1 (1991) of the journal:

We are a discussion network funded in our founding year as a Collaborative Project of the American Academy of Religion. "The Postmodern Jewish Philosophy Bitnetwork" represents the first stage of a BITNET journal of Postmodern Judaism, philosophically considered: referring both to the plurality of contemporary Jewish religious expressions, philosophically considered and to the plurality of postmodern methods of Jewish philosophy and philosophical theology. In the history of Judaism, the two principle paradigms of philosophic inquiry have been the Jewish Aristotelianism and neo-Platonism of the Arabic speaking Jewish philosophers of medieval Spain, and the Jewish Kantianism of the largely German speaking Jewish philosophers of 19th-20th century Europe. For now, we are using the term "postmodern" very loosely to refer to what may be a third paradigm of Jewish philosophic inquiry, emerging from out of Kantian and Aristotelian roots. As we use it, the term may refer to any of a variety of hermeneutical, semiotic, process, feminist and deconstructive inquiries, all of which are adapted to and influenced by emergent forms of Scriptural and Talmudic text interpretation and all of which generate corresponding varieties of philosophical theology.

Since those beginnings, Textual Reasoning (as it has been renamed in 1996) has continued to be associated with the American Academy of Religion at whose annual meetings the network hosts study sessions/receptions.
The network currently has about 280 subscribers world wide.

Steven Kepnes contributes an updated programmatic statement explaining what he believes to be the common concern of Postmodern Jewish Thought and Textual or Scriptural Reasoning.

Please click here for
Principles and a Program for Postmodern Jewish Philosophy/Scriptural Reasoning


Contact information.


The journal usually appears quarterly and is automatically distributed to all subscribers of the discussion list. Hard-copy distribution is also available. Go here for subscription information.

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