Princeton Professor Leora Batnitzky discusses Leo Strauss’s enduring legacy with Alan Rubenstein in a new Tikvah Podcast.
Friends and critics alike agree that the late political philosopher Leo Strauss is one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. He inspired many in the academy to return to the classics in search of enduring wisdom, and there are now courses all over the world that present the thought of Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, and Spinoza as thinkers just as relevant today as they were in their own times. And the great light that Strauss’ thought shone on political philosophy has illuminated the path for men and women whose business is statecraft, alongside those whose business is writing and teaching.
Leora Batnitzky is the Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair of the Department of Religion at Princeton University. Her teaching and research interests include philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, hermeneutics, and contemporary legal and political theory. In 2002 she received Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. She is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000), Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006), and How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton, 2011). Her current book project, tentatively titled “Conversion Before the Law: How Religion and Law Shape Each Other in the Modern World,” focuses on a number of contemporary legal cases concerning religious conversion in the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, and India. She is also co-editor, with Ra’anan Boustan, of the journal Jewish Studies Quarterly.
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