Since the Enlightenment, Jews have sought to understand Judaism as a modern religion in an intellectual context equivalent to Christianity. This shifted the focus of attention away from the ritual commandments to a concern with the universal foundations of the faith. Platforms and Prayer Books analyzes the impact of that shift, presenting new approaches as well as innovative arguments. The essays in this collection express the inherent difficulty of reconciling theory with practice in a liberal religious framework. In addition, they also demonstrate the surprising vitality of a movement that many expected to decline demographically as well as intellectually. Not only is the Reform movement actually increasing in numbers, but, as this book demonstrates, it is also showing an amazing breadth of creativity. Through lively discussions, noted scholars and rabbis trace the evolution of Reform Judaism through discussions on theological and liturgical topics that are grounded in the platforms and prayer books that chart the movement's developments through its 200-year history. Contributors with perspectives from both within and outside of Reform Judaism evaluate trends and interpret changes that have taken and are taking place, exploring the historical context and contemporary significance of Reform Jewish belief.