Political Authority and Legitimacy in the Jewish Tradition

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Spring 2014 Seminar
Meets: W, Th 5:00pm - 8:00pm in Hauser Hall Room 104
2 classroom credits

The seminar will address two questions: Who rules in the Jewish world? And; how is the legitimacy of the rulers defended and criticized? Though these questions are addressed chiefly in legal (halachic) terms, I will be discussing them from the vantage point of a political theorist. Other perspectives are, obviously, welcome. The text for the seminar will be volume one of The Jewish Political Tradition, which is focused on issues of authority. Readings will be from the Bible, the Talmud and the midrashim, medieval responsa, philosophical works, early modern debates about emancipation, and contemporary debates about the state of Israel. All the assigned texts are in English.

The seminar will meet the weeks of March 3 - March 31.