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Compassion and Cruelty: The Promise and Limits of the Musar Movement
January 22, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm$18
Dr. Geoffrey Claussen
How can Jewish practice bring greater compassion into our lives? This session will explore ways in which practices developed by the 19th century Musar Movement can be effective in helping to develop compassion and other virtues, while also taking a critical look at the limits of compassion within this historic movement.
Geoffrey D. Claussen is the Lori and Eric Sklut Scholar in Jewish Studies and Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Elon University. He was the founding director of Elon’s Jewish Studies program, and his courses at Elon explore the history of Jewish traditions, from the Hebrew Bible to contemporary Judaism. He holds a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Carleton College, and his M.A., rabbinic ordination, and Ph.D. from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
Prof. Claussen’s scholarship focuses on Jewish ethics and the legacy of the nineteenth-century Musar movement, and he has particular interests in questions of love and justice, war and violence, animal ethics, and moral education. He is the past president of the Society of Jewish Ethics and is the author of Sharing the Burden: Rabbi Simḥah Zissel Ziv and the Path of Musar (SUNY Press, 2015).