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Covering Fire for

Summa / Potentialism includes, as well, 40+ testimonials

Jesuit renegade Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955)

“Omega Point”

The Summa / Bard Conference (APR 2012) players visited Teilhard’s gravesite (in New Hyde Park) coincidentally and fortuitously near Bard (Annandale-on-Hudson) as a group on the second day of the conference. [ i confess, I stumbled across Omega Point only in ~2003 - David B. ]

Kabbalistic lion LURIA (1534-1572)

tzimtzum & En Sof (No End) & Sephirot (Emanations)

YES / Luria, if very heavily stripped-down and if very heavily-parsed, is ~antecedent to Potentialism, especially Summa 1.

Quantum Mechanics SETH LLOYD of MIT (b.1960)

the universe as quantum computer

Lloyd’s seminal Programming the Universe book came out in 2006 18 years after Summa 1 and 1 year after Summa 2 (2005)

Physics John Wheeler of Princeton (1911-2008)

“It from Bit”

Wheeler’s terse and brief foray into his catchy-phrase It from Bit was in 1990 - two years after Summa 1 ( God and Evil )

Biology / Ecology Andrei Alyokhin “A UNIFYING CONCEPT OF THE UNIVERSE”

“Therefore, it is reasonable to propose the Quest for Potential∞ as a working hypothesis for explaining the impetus behind the cosmic dynamic.” November 2, 2012

Mathematics Hugo van den Berg (b.1990)

“unparalleled and magisterial”

“staggering and audacious” Mar 28, 2013

note: there is some slight overlap coming up >

Testimonials (selected)

Summa Metaphysica / Potentialism Theory

40+ hi-level & substantive testimonials

Potentialism / Summa Ten Early High-Voltage Testimonials Hugo van den Berg University of Warwick Department of Mathematics Coventry, United Kingdom re: Summa 1 & 2

“unparalleled and magisterial... staggering and audacious” Claude Levi-Strauss Anthropologist Paris “’Structural Anthropology’ re: Summa 1 & 2

“Remarkable and profound, Summa Metaphysica II rounds-out the author’s powerful and original Cosmic Womb of Potential metaphysics.” William A. Johnson Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University re: Summa 1

“a masterful achievement…a novel and satisfying approach… a major intellectual achievement.” John Wheeler Professor Emeritus, Princeton re: Summa 1 & 2

“A potential major conceptual breakthrough”

Andrei Alyokhin Professor and Graduate Coordinator School of Biology and Ecology University of Maine Orono, ME re: Summa 1 & 2

“a unifying concept of the universe” see

Paul Mendes-Flohr Professor of Philosophy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Editor, Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought re: Summa 1

“…there is no comparable volume offering such a comprehensive, authoritative and intelligible discussion of the problem… a remarkable effort to offer a fresh approach.” Louis Dupré Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University re: Summa 1

“…an original, and, in this reader’s opinion, a very promising point of view…the author gathers a philosophically coherent and, in the end, highly modern insight… a unified metaphysics…” Joseph Dan Professor of Kabbalah, Hebrew University, Jerusalem re: Summa 1

“A major work…a great intellectual and spiritual effort”

Lawrence H. Schiffman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies New York University re: Summa 1 & 2

“It is early for me to say with certainty, but I am inclined to think that Summa Metaphysica represents the dawn of the period of metaphysical revision.” Deepak Chopra Thought Leader in Metaphysics re: Summa 1, 2 & 3 re: Potentialism Theory

“I’m totally on board with David Birnbaum” - Oct, 2018 see 1-on-1 focus-video

Summa I back cover

“A Major Work in the Philosophy of Religion”* “ ... there is no comparable volume offering such a comprehensive, authoritative and intelligible discussion of the problem… a remarkable effort to offer a fresh approach. ” Paul Mendez-Flohr, Professor of Philosophy, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Editor, Contemporary Jewish Religious Thought “ …an original, and, in this reader’s opinion, a very promising point of view… the author gathers a philosophically coherent and, in the end, highly modern insight… a unified metaphysics… ” Louis Dupré, Professor of Religious Studies, Yale University “ …a major work in the Philosophy of Religion…a masterful achievement…a novel and satisfying approach… a major intellectual achievement. ” *Cannon William Johnson, Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University “ …a major contribution to the Jewish conversations through the ages, on theodicy, and the problem of evil generally. ” Dr. Norman Lamm, President, Yeshiva University “David Birnbaum brings the rich resources of the Jewish tradition to bear on the universal problem of theodicy. The result is a new synthesis… I can certainly recommend it as a fascinating contribution to the philosophy of religion which merits the attention of Christians and Jews alike. ” John J. Collins, Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame Editor, Journal of Biblical Literature “ God and Evil represents a bold attempt to formulate an ingenious theory, which, drawing upon creative reinterpretations of classical Jewish doctrine, places the Free Will Defense within a broader metaphysical framework…” Rabbi Walter S. Wurzburger, Professor of Philosophy, Yeshiva University, Editor, Tradition “ All who read this book will find much instruction, insight, and material for reflection…I find the overall thesis of the book touching and inspiring… ” Rabbi Irving Greenberg, President, The National Jewish Center for Learning and Scholarship (CLAL) “ A major work…a great intellectual and spiritual effort ” Joseph Dan, Professor of Kabbalah, Hebrew University

Summa III back cover Q4P∞ → C+ → E+ - POTENTIALISM THEORY (encapulated) / see

“Birnbaum’s Theory of Potential offers a unified, grand and dynamic cosmic construct.”

– The Huffington Post, United Kingdom, January / 31 / 2014

“Spinoza and Birnbaum are paradigm-breaking philosophers who have shaped the study of philosophy. Both their works can be found in university classrooms across the country and the world.”

– CNN iReport, April / 9 / 2014

“The 21st century has seen a rise in new theories of cosmology. At the forefront has been Potentialism. The theory was developed by independent scholar David Birnbaum of Manhattan [via] his 3-volume treatise Summa Metaphysica. The theory is an iconic paradigm challenge.”

– The Epoch Times, June / 4 / 2014

“David Birnbaum, metaphysicist and private scholar, set out on an audacious odyssey [culminationg] in 1988 and 2005 to redefine modern cosmology as we know it. What he gave the world was a metaphysics for the 21st century.”

– Future Technology (Virginia Tech), April / 21 / 2014

“…Summa represents a bold attempt to formulate a unifying concept of the Universe…it is reasonable to propose the Quest for Potential∞ as a working hypothesis for explaining the impetus behind the cosmic dynamic.”

– Dr. Andrei Alyokhin, Maine, November, 2012 Professor and Graduate Coordinator, School of Biology and Ecology University of Maine

“Each thought leader [Birnbaum of Manhattan(1988, 2005) and Lloyd of MIT(2006)] individually proposes a ground breaking solution. Both of their respective solutions are original, but are nevertheless eerily inter-related and parallel.”

– Frontiers, Dec 21 / 2013

“We hope to explain the entire universe in a simple formula you can put on your T-shirt.”

– Leon Lederma, Texas, 1983 American experimental physicist Nobel Prize in Physics

Summa I - Religious Man: God and Evil (1988) Summa II - Spiritual Man: God and Good (2005) Summa III - Secular Man: The Transcendent Dynamic (2014) Summa IV - Quantum Man: Morphed Cosmic Order (2020)

review excerpts from across the spectrum

“the best book in print on the subject.”


“Author and scholar David Birnbaum wrestles with the age-old problem of the existence of evil… a compelling, stimulating and creative contribution…”


“Birnbaum’s God and Evil is an extremely significant volume which grapples

forthrightly and originally with the problem… well-organized… clearly written… persuasive…. Birnbaum comes as close as possible to solving the awesome dilemma of evil in a world created by a just God.” – JEWISH WORLD

“Seven centuries after Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas [of Sicily and

the Papal States], David Birnbaum of Manhattan offers his own landmark metaphysics.... Birnbaum wrestles with the problem of evil from a Jewish

perspective, but provides fresh insights for Christians as well. This is a good book, written in faith, and with honesty and passion.”


“Wiesel and Birnbaum share a deep respect for, and loyalty to, their ancestral

faith. Yet the contrast between their approaches is ultimately perhaps as

instructive as the approaches themselves. Birnbaum’s approach is essentially that of the intellectual, philosopher, and theologian…”


“a bold and highly original synthesis…audacious yet sensitive, traditional and yet highly innovative…yet within the parameters of an authentically Jewish halakhic point of view…an intellectual odyssey.”


more high-level testimonials Summa I

“David Birnbaum has woven together motifs from both rationalists and mystics…absorbing and impressive.” David Shatz, Professor of Philosophy Yeshiva University, New York, NY

“a highly original and imaginative synthesis… Written with lucidity and deep conviction this book will prove highly stimulating to the layman and the scholar.” Joseph Schultz, Professor of Judaic Studies University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

“David Birnbaum has opened up a new avenue of approach…novel hypothesis clearly and attractively presented…a remarkably informed study… It is a very impressive piece of work which should provoke considerable discussion and debate.” Donald Gray, Professor of Religious Studies Manhattan College, New York, NY

“important and original… It proposes a new solution to the age-old problem of the existence of evil in the world. The approach Birnbaum takes can be applied not only to Judaism but to religious philosophy in general. I am particularly impressed by the author’s grappling with the most difficult issues facing contemporary religious thought in a lucid and perceptive manner.” Lawrence Schiffman, Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies New York University, NY

“…a challenging new hypothesis…compelling…intellectually stimulating. It took me back again to my Roman Catholic seminary studies of Aquinas. I felt again the pull of great ideas, the struggles of Masters grappling with Mysteries… respectful of the past while carefully positing new positions… His solution deserves to be given serious consideration…” Gerard A. Vanderhaar, Professor of Religion and Peace Studies Catholic Brothers College, Memphis, TN

“…author and scholar David Birnbaum does what has eluded the greatest minds and thinkers…looks at the evidence from a genuinely fresh and original perspective…his brilliant thesis is built upon solid foundations of impeccable scholarship.” Rabbi A. Mark Levin, Anshe Sphard Congregation Christian Brothers College, Memphis TN

“…powerful and original…a conceptual breakthrough in theological philosophical thought…God and Evil is not an incremental advance over existing theological thought. It is a quantum leap, and presents a new universal theological underpinning…the book has a potential for greatness.” Rabbi Marvin Tokayer, Senior Rabbi Jewish Community of Japan

“a truly stimulating and creative contribution to the post-Shoah discussion… overall direction is one that I find extremely promising… I believe it is the only sensible way to proceed… What is especially appealing about this volume is its ability to draw together new insights and the wisdom of the tradition in a creative synthesis.” John T. Pawlikowski, Professor of Social Ethics M.A. Director, Catholic Theological Union Member, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Commission Chicago, IL

“…researched extensively, presented in a scholarly manner and creative in thesis…a theodicy/theology/philosophy which maintains its internal consistency and which provides a framework within which to find the answers… courageously ventures into new territory…must be admired for its originality, its logical consistency and its courage” Rabbi Dale Polakoff Great Neck Synagogue, NY

“Birnbaum addresses the subject with an originality of approach which is wholly his own, and is bound to stir the minds of his readers. Although the works is essentially that of a Jew conducting his enquiry from the standpoint of Jewish religious thought, students of other faiths, lay and clerical, too will find the volume sustaining long-asked questions and challenging long-held beliefs.” Isaac L. Swift, Rabbi Emeritus Congregation Ahavath Torah, Englewood, NJ

“I have read GOD and EVIL with interest and profit. It is a searching, knowledgeable, and readable attempt to confront the fundamental moral problem of theodicy with its most severe contemporary test, that of the Holocaust.” Berel Lang, Professor of Philosophy and Humanistic Studies Chairman, Department of Philosophy State University of New York at Albany

“Mr. Birnbaum has bravely entered into the vast fields of theodicy, an intellectual and spiritual terrain usually known for its complexity, difficulty and obscurity. GOD and EVIL represents a new, unflinching, yet reverential attempt to orient the events of history… With an evident intellectual daring, Birnbaum is not content to merely defend God…a fascinating, original and provocative reformulation of medieval Lurianic Kabbalah… It is a solution which will stimulate Jew and Christian alike.” Richard A. Cohen, Associate Professor of Philosophy Shawnee State University, Portsmouth, OH

“…an intellectually engaging work. Birnbaum’s relentless inquiry and probing approach to the issue of theodicy offer the reader an adventure of ideas… I recommend the book highly.” Rabbi William E. Kaufman Temple Beth El, Fall River, MA Visiting Professor of Philosophy Rhode Island College, Providence, RI Author, Contemporary Jewish Philosophies

“…a masterpiece for our times…” Benjamin Blech, Rabbi, Young Israel of Oceanside Author, “Theodicy” tape series New York, NY

“…is sure to be regarded as a major contribution to the Jewish study of theodicy…the first major theological study that systematically confronts this problem directly and in detail… All subsequent work on the presence of evil in this world will have to take seriously this book and the cogent and direct analysis it brings to the topic.” Peter J. Haas, Associate Professor of Jewish Literature and Thought Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN

“This book accomplishes a remarkable feature. It manages to provide a theodicy within the framework of traditional Jewish belief and philosophy and not only a theodicy which works, but which does so with intellectual rigor and emotional satisfaction. The intellectual honesty and emotional sensitivity are apparent on every page.” Professor David M. Goldenberg, Associate Director Annenberg Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA

“David Birnbaum’s engrossing book God and Evil is a highly informed discussion of the perennial problem of theodicy. Steeped in Jewish learning, it is a strikingly original midrash on a very difficult theme, written with a boldness and passion, and is a pleasure to read…” David Winston, Professor of Hellenistic and Judaic Studies Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA

“God and Evil is an engaging and thoughtful work. It brings a fresh new approach to an old problem, utilizing classical Jewish and other sources in a dynamic, compelling and creative manner…. As a person who has spent many years dealing with the problem of theodicy, I must confess that I approached your book with skepticism. I thought that all that could be said, had been said. Nevertheless, I was surprised at what I learned from your work. Thank you for writing it.” Dr. Byron L. Sherwin, Vice-President for Academic Affairs Spertus College of Judaica, Chicago, IL


‘Contemporary Jewish philosopher David Birnbaum’ quoted in psychoanalysis textbook 'Centers of Power':

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