The Renaissance of Jewish Philosophy in America

Wednesday–Thursday, February 22–23, 2006
Senate Chamber, Whig Hall, Princeton University

A public conference presented by the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Princeton University; the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies, The Jewish Theological Seminary; and the Department of Religion, Princeton University.

In this conference, the James Madison Program, the Finkelstein Institute, and the Department of Religion focus on the remarkable resurgence of constructive Jewish philosophy in America. Scholars and thinkers who have contributed to this renaissance will reflect on their work with a specific aim in mind. That aim is to ask what role the American context—broadly construed—has played in their thought. How have American ideals and realities, American philosophy and politics, influenced their work? To what extent has their intellectual agenda been shaped by the social and cultural context, including the contemporary American university?


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

5:45 p.m.
Private Opening Reception and Dinner, Center for Jewish Life, 70 Washington Road

8:00–9:30 p.m.
"Coming After:" American Jewish Thought in the light of German Judaism (Video)
Alan Mittleman, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Prof. Leora Batnitzky (Princeton University)
Prof. Martin D. Yaffe (University of North Texas)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

9:00–10:30 a.m.
Covenant and Social Contract: Classical Judaism and Classical Liberalism
Moderator: Martin Kavka, Florida State University and Princeton University
Prof. David Novak (University of Toronto)
Prof. Kenneth Seeskin (Northwestern University)

10:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Pragmatism, Philosophical Analysis and Science: Influences and Interactions
Moderator: Neil Gillman, The Jewish Theological Seminary
Prof. Norbert M. Samuelson (Arizona State University)
Prof. Michael Morgan (Indiana University)
Prof. Peter Ochs (University of Virginia)

2:15–3:00 p.m.
Ethics and Metaphysics: Renewing Traditions of Natural Law
Moderator: Martha Himmelfarb, Princeton University
Prof. Lenn E. Goodman (Vanderbilt University)

3:15–4:00 p.m.
Assessing the American Jewish Philosophical Renaissance

Moderator: Robert P. George, Princeton University
Prof. William A. Galston (University of Maryland)