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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Jewish Political Tradition

I'm in the process of designing a syllabus for a course on the Jewish political tradition.  My plan is essentially to use the available volumes of Walzer's The Jewish Political Tradition as casebooks.  If you know of someone who teaches such a course (whether in a law school or elsewhere), please let me know.  I have already been in touch with Suzanne Last Stone (Cardozo), a contributor to the volumes, who teaches such a course, so no need to direct me to her.  Thanks.

Posted by Ethan Leib on September 26, 2007 at 12:52 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink


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Obama has been relentless in seducing America's youth, and controlling the media. What's next? ... teaching our children to turn their parents in to the Gestapo? These tactics have been used before ... and, they're right out of the Nazi and Islamic/madrassa play books. Wake up America ... the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

Posted by: Howard | Oct 20, 2008 3:51:16 PM

Every year Penn has a visiting professor who holds the "Gruss Professor of Talmudic Law". Stone holds it this year. Joseph Stern, from Chicago's philosohpy department held it a few years ago so he might be worth talking to. (I don't, unfortunately, recall who the other recnet holders were.)

Posted by: Matt | Sep 26, 2007 9:44:46 AM


This sounds like a wonderful course. I would recommend your students have a look at Oliver Leaman's recent book, Jewish Thought: An Introduction (2006), an utterly remarkable book that I'm sure in some respects provides a nice contrast to Walzer, however much it is not about political thought per se. Leaman's endearing prose and "light touch" cannot hide his deep erudition and often original and penetrating questions and perspectives on this or that aspect of Jewish traditions. It's one of only a few books I've read of late that I would recommend without any hesitation or qualification whatsoever. Apart from his excellent work in Islamic studies (and other fields of religious and philosophical inquiry), Leaman has edited several standard volumes on Jewish philosophy, and penned one of my favorite books in Judaic Studies: Evil and Suffering in Jewish Philosophy (1995), a work that should be on every thinking person's bookshelf. OK, my enthusiasm may be getting the better of me.

And not long ago I reviewed a book on Judaism and ecological ethics for Philosophy East & West I can send your way if you're interested (or, if you have access, see: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/philosophy_east_and_west/v057/57.3odonnell.pdf.). This is an important topic if only because so much nonsense has been written by way of holding the Jewish tradition responsible for Western attitudes toward the environment (and by implication the ecologically devastating practices therefrom), much of it based on a few verses from Genesis.

Posted by: Patrick S. O'Donnell | Sep 26, 2007 2:16:16 AM

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