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Modern Jewish Thought: The Turn to the World


January 12 – 23
Nadav Berman Shifman

In a departure from medieval metaphysical and other-worldly discourse, modern western philosophy reflects a major turn to a worldly discourse, and an epistemic-pragmatic turn to the human and to the self. In this course, we will examine this assumption within major Jewish texts that came into being in the three centers of Jewish modern civilization: Europe, the United States and Israel. After a brief introduction to modern philosophy, we will concentrate on the study of prominent Jewish thinkers in the modern era. Reading their texts, we will ask in what ways they resonate with the directing of philosophical interest towards “the world” and towards the centrality of the human perspective.

Nadav Berman Shifman is a PhD student in the Department for Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is working on a dissertation entitled “Pragmatism and American Jewish Thought in the Twentieth Century: New Perspectives on the Writings of Hayyim Hirschensohn, Mordecai Kaplan and Eliezer Berkovits” (adv. Dr. Avinoam Rosenak). Nadav’s MA thesis was written in the field of the philosophy of Halakha (adv. Prof. Moshe Halbertal); he is also a fellow at the Hartman Institute’s Beit-Midrash for Research Students. 

Every year Paideia offers a series of OPEN COURSES to the public. To participate please contact Paideia for more information: info[at]paideia-eu.org