Symposium on David Novak’s ‘The Jewish Social Contract’

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David Novak, ‘The Jewish Social Contract:
An Essay in Political Theology’
(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005)


Biographies of Symposium Participants

Gordon Schochet is a professor of political science at Rutgers University and a founder and codirector of the Center for the History of British Political Thought at the Folger Shakespeare Library. He received his AB and MA degrees from Johns Hopkins University and his PhD from the University of Minnesota. He was a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and has held several other fellowships. Author of Patriarchalism in Political Thought (Blackwell, 1975; 2nd ed., 1988), Rights in Contexts (2006), From Reformation to Revolution: Western Political Thought in the Early Modern Period (forthcoming), and numerous articles on political philosophy and its history, his current research and writing deals with the political thought of Hobbes, Locke, Filmer, and Mandeville, politics and patriarchy, religious liberty, Western concepts of conscience, and Hebraism in early modern political and legal philosophy.

Leora Batnitzky is a professor of religion and director of graduate studies for the religion department at Princeton University. Her teaching and research interests include philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, hermeneutics, and contemporary legal and political theory. She is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000) and Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). She is beginning a new project on the relations between modern legal theory and modern religious thought. She is co-editor of the Jewish Studies Quarterly since 2004.

Michael Walzer has written about a wide variety of topics in political theory and moral philosophy: political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice and the welfare state. He has played a part in the revival of a practical, issue focused ethics and in the development of a pluralist approach to political and moral life. He is currently working on the toleration and accommodation of “difference” in all its forms and also on a collaborative project focused on the history of Jewish political thought, two volumes of which have been published by Yale University Press.

David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as a professor of the study of religion and a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is a founder, vice president, and coordinator of the Panel of Halakhic Inquiry of the Union for Traditional Judaism. He serves as secretary treasurer of the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York City and is on the editorial board of its journal First Things. He is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research and the Academy for Jewish Philosophy, and a member of the Board of Consulting Scholars of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. David Novak is the author of thirteen books, the latest being The Jewish Social Contract: An Essay in Political Theology (Princeton, 2005). His book Covenantal Rights: A Study in Jewish Political Theory (Princeton, 2000) won the award of the American Academy of Religion for “best book in constructive religious thought in 2000.” He has edited four books and is the author of over 200 articles in scholarly and intellectual journals.

Volume 1, Number 5 (Fall 2006) pp. 593–622