Saturday, February 16, 2008

At the Heart of the Jewish Ethical Conscience: Woody Allen

In a piece on Woody Allen's late films, Jay Michaelson writes:

Judaism is a religion of Job, not just Sunday School, and Allen's extended meditations on the presence or absence of moral order are the essence of the Jewish ethical conscience.

Though Allen has seemingly rejected Judaism as a religion, Michaelson argues that Allen's later films, which aren't typically seen as falling into the same autobiographical vein as most of his earlier ones, are precisely and even traditionally Jewish. Rather than accept theodicy or assert that God knows all, the films depict an internal conflict about what, exactly, constitutes good and evil in this world. They are, in Michaelson's view (and I think I agree to a certain extent), more or less meditations, like the book of Job, on justice and what it means to be ethical.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Perhaps he had it within him all the time, and he didn't realize. Maturity and age just eventually let it show