Can Jews Be Citizens? Jewish Politics from the Enlightenment to Today
January 28 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm$18
What should modern Jewish politics look like? To what extent should Jews seek to promote the well-being of the diverse societies they inhabit, and to what extent should Jews devote their attention to securing Jewish communal survival? Can an engagement with Jewish texts and practices form individuals into engaged citizens, and what role should Judaism play in times of civic disruption and discord? We will explore diverse answers to these questions, beginning with visions of Jewish political involvement championed by two leading figures in the Jewish Enlightenment — Moses Mendelssohn, the founder of modern Jewish thought, and Nachman Krochmal, Eastern Europe’s most important Jewish philosopher — and considering the relevance of these visions in light of events such as the election of Donald Trump.
ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Elias Sacks is Associate Professor of Jewish Studies and Associate Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. After receiving his B.A. from Harvard University and studying at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, he earned an M.A. in Religion from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Religion from Princeton University. His research focuses on Jewish thought, Jewish-Christian relations, philosophy of religion, religion and politics, and religious ethics, with a particular interest in the modern period. He is the author of Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script: Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism (Indiana University Press, 2017), as well as articles on medieval and modern thinkers such as Moses Maimonides, Baruch Spinoza, Nachman Krochmal, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Jacob Taubes. Sacks also published some of the first English translations of Moses Mendelssohn’s Hebrew writings in Moses Mendelssohn: Writings on Judaism, Christianity, and the Bible (Brandeis University Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award.