Popular books on various aspects of Jewish life and thought are published in substantial numbers. Yet there are few if any that offer a comprehensive, accessible, scholarly presentation of Jewish theology. Byron Sherwin fills this gap, utilizing a novel approach to the subject. The well-documented 'privatization' of American religion is characterized by the desire to identify one's religious faith with a quest for individual, personal meaning. In Judaism this takes the form of rejecting 'denominational' (Reform, Conservative, etc.) affiliation of 'ethnic identity' in favor of an understanding of Jewish identity as inextricably linked to an affirmation of Judaism as a faith. Those embracing this view are increasingly asking two questions: What is Judaism? How does Judaism address my quest for meaning? Available works on Jewish theology largely focus on abstract theological concepts such as the existence and nature of God and are consequently detached from the individual's engagement with existential issues such as the meaning of human existence.
Sherwin demonstrates that Jewish theological thinking can be understood as a response to such visceral existential issues and argues that human meaning and fulfillment can be discovered in the application of an authentic Jewish way of thinking and living.