Jewish Political Thought

Years of Activity: 2017 - 2018

Research Status:

Not Active
Participants: 

Shira Bar-Or Malkior, Yitzhak Ben David, Karma Ben-Johanan, David Borabeck, Julie Cooper, Michael Fagenblat, Yael Fisch, Shimon Fogel, Rachel Frisch, Yair Furstenberg, Yishai Gesundheit, Yemima Hadad, Ido Harari, Roni Hirsch, Meirav Jones, Yossef Kaminer, Tirza Kelman, Uri Landsberg, Aviad Markovitz, Hanan Mazeh, Yakov Meyer, Yakir Paz, Shlomo Dov Rosen, David Sabato, Benjamin Schvarcz, Ariel Seri-Levi, Omri Shareth, Assaf Tamari, Avi-ram Tzoreff, Yael Wilfand

The group’s first year was devoted to exploring the political nature of Jewish law. In the second year the group examined the connection between the lawgiver—the deity—and the Jewish community.

The discussion focused on clarifying the theoretical framework and the various constructs whereby, in diverse religious traditions, the deity (or deities) was connected to the political community. This connection is at the heart of the distinction between religion as a private framework that regulates the relations between an individual and the diety (as in the Protestant model and in various secularized models) and the Jewish tradition, in which membership in the group is a central institution of the “religious” experience. The research group examined the question from the perspective of diverse traditions: the world of the ancient near-east, the Greco-Roman world, Christianity, and Islam, in comparison with Judaism in its various manifestations over the centuries. An important part of our work this year has been an examination of the biblical foundation and its resonance in later strata of the Jewish tradition.

 

Group activity

In the course of the second year the group held seven meetings with a total of ten guest lecturers from Israel and abroad. Four members of the group also presented their work.

About half of the group members in the first year remained in the group in the second year, and new members were added. The group has twenty members—doctoral candidates, postdoctoral fellows and early career scholars at universities in Israel.