Spinoza and Modern Jewish Philosophy Conference


The Stroum Center for Jewish Studies will be hosting the two day Conference “Spinoza and Modern Jewish Philosophy Conference” on May 21 and 22, 2017. This international conference aims to explore the myriad ways in which Spinoza contributed to the development of modern Jewish philosophy. Although Spinoza was banned from the Jewish community in 1656 due to his “abominable heresies,” posterity has come to see his work differently. For some he is the central figure of the radical Enlightenment and the secular world. For others he is the first modern Jew, the harbinger of reforms that make Judaism possible in the modern world. Is Spinoza antithetical to the basic tenets of Judaism, or is his work essential to the articulation of a modern Jewish identity? The sessions will explore Spinoza’s philosophy and its impact on the philosophical, historical, and literary understanding of the modern world.

Confirmed speakers include: Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University) ● Julie E. Cooper (Tel Aviv University) ● Paul Franks (Yale University) ● Willi Goetschel (University of Toronto) ● Michah Gottlieb (New York University) ● Jonathan Israel (Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton University) ● Julie R. Klein (Villanova University) ● Tracie Matysik (University of Texas) ● Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins) ● Michael Morgan (University of Indiana & University of Toronto) ● Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin) ● Benjamin Pollock (Hebrew University) ● Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington) ● Daniel Schwartz (George Washington University) ● Abraham Socher (Oberlin College)

Find out more about modern Jewish Philosophers in Michael Rosenthal's Jewish Studies blog post: Prophets at War: Hermann Cohen and German Jews in the First World War

The UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies is pleased to host “Spinoza and Modern Jewish Philosophy” in conjunction with the 2017 Stroum Lectures featuring Prof. Jonathan Israel. Prof. Israel will be speaking on May 21st and 23rd, 7:00 pm in Kane Hall. Click here for more information and registration.

Jewish Studies would thank the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Germanics, and the Simpson Center for the Humanities for their support of this event.

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