Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology

Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology

Edited by Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 12/05/2013
Format: Hardback 5 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01027-8
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Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology provides the first broad encounter between modern Jewish thought and recent developments in political theology. In opposition to impetuous associations of Judaism and liberalism and charges that Judaism cannot engender a universal political order, the essays in this volume propose a new and richly detailed engagement between Judaism and the political. The vexed status of liberalism in Jewish thought and Judaism in political theology is interrogated with recourse to thinking from across the Continental tradition.

Author Bio

Randi Rashkover is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at George Mason University. She is author of Freedom and Law: A Jewish-Christian Apologetics, and Revelation and Theopolitics: Barth, Rosenzweig, and the Politics of Praise.

Martin Kavka is Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at Florida State University. He is author of Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy, which was awarded the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Philosophy and Jewish Thought in 2008. He has also co-edited four books, including Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology (Indiana University Press, 2014). He is also co-editor of the Journal of Religious Ethics.


“Of real pertinence and fills an important gap. The selection of participants has been judiciously made, and they contribute effectively to clarifying the multifaceted problem that unfolds.”
 — Bettina Bergo, Université de Montréal

“This collection of essays, which examines political theology from the distinct perspective of Jewish philosophy, could not be timelier or more useful for scholars and students navigating what is often viewed as very dense and difficult material.”
 — Claire Elise Katz, Texas A&M University

“The editors have done their work well and supplied a very faithful summary of the contributor's labours, while the contribuotrs themselves have shown exemplary diligence and intellectual clarity for which this reader is extremely grateful. ”
 — The Muslim World Book Review

“[Proposes] a new and richly detailed engagement between Judaism and the political.Fall 2014”
 — Jewish Book World

“The collection’s sharp and nuanced insights into the role of Judaism (real or imagined) in the discourse of political theology, and its corrective to the ways that in which Judaism has been misrepresented and abused by this important stream of modern thought, are urgent, enlightening, and highly recommended reading.”
 — H-Judaic

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Table of Contents

Introduction Randi Rashkover and Martin Kavka
Part I. Judaism and Liberalism
1. Spinoza and the Possibility Condition of Modern Judaism, Jerome Copulsky
2. Plato Prophesied the Revelation: The Philosophico-Political Theology of Strauss’
Philosophy and Law and the Guidance of Hermann Cohen, Dana Hollander

3. What Do the Dead Deserve?: Towards A Critique of Jewish Political Theology,
Martin Kavka

4. The Zionism of Hannah Arendt 1941-1948, Eric Jacobson

Part II. Messianism, Miracle and Power
5. Power and Israel in Martin Buber’s Critique of Carl Schmitt’s Political Theology,
Gregory Kaplan

6. The Political Theology of Ethical Monotheism, Daniel Weidner
7. The Miraculous Birth of the Given, Daniel Brandes

Part III. Ethics, Law and the Universal
8. Bad Jews, Authentic Jews, Figural Jews, Sarah Hammerschlag
9. The Patient Gesture: Law, Liberalism, and Talmud, Zachary Braiterman

Part IV. The Mosaic Distinction
10. Reason within the Bounds of Religion, Robert Erlewine
11. The Impossibility of the Prohibition of Images, Oona Eisenstadt
12.From Distortion to Displacement: Freud and the Mosaic Distinction, Brian Britt
13. Monotheism as a Political Problem, Bruce Rosenstock