Award-winning novelist, philosopher and MacArthur Fellow Rebecca Newberger Goldstein joins cultural critic, journalist and editor Judith Shulevitz (pictured)  for a provocative discussion about ritual, faith and cultural identity at the Leventhal-Sidman JCC (333 Nahanton Street) in Newton on Thursday, April 7 at 7pm.

Shulevitz (The Sabbath World: Glimpses of a Different Order of Time) explores the Sabbath, its history, sociology and philosophy and her personal lifelong struggle to embrace this day, while Goldstein (36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction) tackles the great debate of our time: the clash between faith and reason. Together they share their own perspectives on Judaism and its meaning in today’s world.

The program, titled Is Belief Beside the Point?, is part of the Ryna Greenbaum JCC Boston Jewish Book Fair Distinguished Author Series. Cost is $12. Co-sponsored by JBooks. Purchase tickets at www.jccgb.org/bookfair or contact 617-965-5226 or boxoffice@jccgb.org.