Copertina del podcast

The Podcast of Jewish Ideas

  • 35. Jews & The Italian Renaissance | Dr. Joanna Weinberg

    20 GIU 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Joanna Weinberg make their way back to sunny 15th century Italy and the surrounding centuries to visit some of the more interesting Jewish characters of the Italian Renaissance. They weave their way through cross-cultural influences and intra-cultural tensions during this remarkable era of rebirth.  Don't forget to rate and review the the show in the podcast app of your choice! Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Joanna Weinberg is Professor Emerita in Early Modern Jewish History and Rabbinics at the University of Oxford where she taught rabbinic literature and medieval and Jewish literature and history. She has translated and edited the works of the major Jewish Renaissance scholar Azariah de’ Rossi. More recently, she collaborated with Anthony Grafton (Princeton University) on the Hebrew studies of the great Huguenot scholar Isaac Casaubon (Harvard University Press, 2011) Together with Anthony Grafton  she has recently completed a book on the major German Reformed Hebraist Johann Buxtorf and his paradoxical approaches to Jews and Jewish literature. With Michael Fishbane she edited  and contributed to Midrash Unbound. Transformations and Innovations (Littman Library, 2013). With Scott Mandelbrote she edited and contributed to Jewish Books and Their Readers; Aspects of Jewish and Christian Intellectual Life in early modern Europe , Leiden: Brill, 2016. Together with Piet van Boxel and Kirsten Macfarlane  she had edited the volume  Oxford University Press in the Oxford-Warburg Studies at the end of May 2022.
    Ascoltato 1 h 8 min. 17 sec.
  • 34. Josephus | Dr. Martin Goodman

    6 GIU 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Martin Goodman go antiquing! They discuss the most important Jewish historian of the Roman period–Josephus Flavius. What did he write? Who was he writing for? And what ideological framework motivated his histories?  Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Martin Goodman is Emeritus Professor of Jewish Studies in the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Wolfson College and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies. He has written extensively on Jewish and Roman history. His books include Rome and Jerusalem (2007), A History of Judaism (2017), Josephus's The Jewish War: a Biography (2019), and, most recently, Herod the Great: Jewish King in a Roman World (2024).
    Ascoltato 1 h 5 min. 53 sec.
  • 33. Abraham Geiger | Dr. Susannah Heschel

    30 MAG 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Susannah Heschel survey the fascinating life and brilliant ideas of Abraham Geiger. This guy was flagrantly influential. A practicing rabbi, a leader in the Wissenschaft das Judentums movement and a founder of Islamic studies in Europe, he was on the intellectual vanguard of the 19th century Reform movement, so strap in for a great conversation.  Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Susannah Heschel is the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College and chair of the Jewish Studies Program and a faculty member of the Religion Department. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish and Protestant thought during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the history of biblical scholarship, Jewish scholarship on Islam, and the history of anti-Semitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press), and Jüdischer Islam: Islam und Deutsch-Jüdische Selbstbestimmung (Mathes und Seitz). She has a forthcoming book, co-written with Sarah Imhoff, The Woman Question in Jewish Studies (Princeton University Press. Heschel has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Frankfurt and Cape Town as well as Princeton, and she is the recipient of numerous grants, including from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, and a yearlong Rockefeller fellowship at the National Humanities Center. In 2011-12 she held a fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin and during the winter term of 2024 she held a research fellowship at the Maimonides Institute at the University of Hamburg. She has received many honors, including the Mendelssohn Prize of the Leo Baeck Institute, and five honorary doctorates from universities in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany. Currently she is a Guggenheim Fellow and is writing a book on the history of European Jewish scholarship on Islam. She is an elected member of the American Society for the Study of Religion and the American Academy for Jewish Research.  
    Ascoltato 1 h 14 min. 8 sec.
  • 32. Spinoza's Reception and Relevance | Dr. Daniel Schwartz

    23 MAG 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Daniel Schwartz examine the convoluted legacy and enduring relevance of Spinoza. Our first mini-series!! Welcome to the second episode of our three-parter covering friend of the pod, Benedict "Barukh" Spinoza. Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Daniel B. Schwartz is a professor of modern Jewish European and American intellectual and cultural history at George Washington University in Washington, DC. He is the author of two monographs: The First Modern Jew: Spinoza and the History of an Image (Princeton, 2012), which was a co-winner of the 2012 Salo W. Baron Prize awarded annually by the American Academy for Jewish Research to the best first book in Jewish studies and a 2012 National Jewish Book Award Finalist; and Ghetto: The History of a Word (Harvard, 2019), which was recently translated into Italian. He has also edited a documentary reader entitled Spinoza's Challenge to Jewish Thought: Writings on His Life, Philosophy, and Legacy (Brandeis, 2019) that is part of the Brandeis Library of Modern Jewish Thought. He is currently writing an intellectual, cultural, urban, and Jewish history of the Upper West Side of Manhattan from the 1940s to the 1980s. 
    Ascoltato 1 h 6 min. 15 sec.
  • 31. Spinoza's Theology and Politics | Dr. Yitzhak Melamed

    16 MAG 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Yitzhak Melamed untangle Spinoza's famed Tractatus Theologico-Politicus and assess the religiosity of its author, a supposed atheist.  Our first mini-series!! Welcome to the second episode of our three-parter covering friend of the pod, Benedict "Barukh" Spinoza. Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Yitzhak Y. Melamed is the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. He holds an MA in philosophy and the history of science and logic from Tel Aviv University, and a PhD in philosophy from Yale University (2005). He has been awarded the Fulbright, Mellon, and American Academy for Jewish Research Fellowships, as well as the ACLS Burkhardt (2011), NEH (2010), and Humboldt (2011) fellowships for his book on Spinoza and German Idealism. He is the author of Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought (Oxford University Press, 2013) which offers a new and systematic interpretation of the core of Spinoza's metaphysics. He edited Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise: A Critical Guide (Cambridge University Press, 2010; coeditor: Michael Rosenthal), and Spinoza and German Idealism (Cambridge University Press, 2012; coeditor: Eckart Förster). 
    Ascoltato 1 h 5 min. 39 sec.
  • 30. Spinoza's Life and Ethics | Dr. Rebecca Goldstein

    9 MAG 2024 · Dr. Rebecca Goldstein and J.J. communicate the story of Spinoza's herem and outline the radicalism of his Ethics.  Our first mini-series!! Welcome to the first episode of our three-parter covering friend of the pod, Benedict "Barukh" Spinoza. Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Rebecca Newberger Goldstein graduated summa cum laude from Barnard College and immediately went on to graduate work at Princeton University, receiving her Ph.D. in philosophy. She then returned to her alma mater as an Assistant Professor of Philosophy, where she taught the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of mathematics. She has also been a Professor or Fellow at Rutgers, Columbia, Trinity College, Yale, NYU, Dartmouth, the Radcliffe Institute, the Santa Fe Institute, and the New College of the Humanities in London. Goldstein is the author of six works of fiction, the latest of which was Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction, as well as three books of non-fiction: Incompleteness: The Proof and Paradox of Kurt Gödel; Betraying Spinoza: The Renegade Jew Who Gave Us Modernity; and Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. In 1996 Goldstein became a MacArthur Fellow, receiving the prize which is popularly known as the “Genius Award.” In 2005 she was elected to The American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  In 2006 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Radcliffe Fellowship. In 2008, she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism. Goldstein has been designated Humanist of the Year 2011 by the American Humanist Association, and Freethought Heroine 2011 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. In that year she also delivered the Tanner Lectures on Human Values at Yale University, entitled "The Ancient Quarrel: Philosophy and Literature," which was published by University of Utah Press. In September, 2015, Goldstein was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in a ceremony at the White House. The citation reads: "For bringing philosophy into conversation with culture. In scholarship, Dr. Goldstein has elucidated the ideas of Spinoza and Gödel, while in fiction, she deploys wit and drama to help us understand the great human conflict between thought and feeling.
    Ascoltato 57 min. 55 sec.
  • 29. Rashi's Torah | Dr. Eric Lawee

    18 APR 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Eric Lawee comment on Rashi's astounding career, and refuse to gloss over his contentious journey to join the Jewish canon.    Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Eric Lawee is a professor in the Department of Bible at Bar-Ilan University, where he teaches the history of Jewish biblical scholarship. His Rashi’s Commentary on the Torah: Canonization and Resistance in the Reception of a Jewish Classic (2019; paperback 2021), published by Oxford University Press, won the 2019 Jewish Book Award in the category of Scholarship of the Jewish Book Council and was finalist for a Jordan Schnitzer Book Award of the Association for Jewish Studies. He holds the Rabbi Asher Weiser Chair for Medieval Biblical Commentary Research and has just completed a six-year term as director of Bar-Ilan's Institute for Jewish Bible Interpretation.
    Ascoltato 1 h 1 min. 59 sec.
  • 28. Ecclesiastes | Dr. Menachem Fisch

    11 APR 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Menachem Fisch decided that this is the time for studying the philosophy of the book of Qohelet, and they don't study it in vain.   Please send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Menachem Fisch is the Joseph and Ceil Mazer Professor Emeritus of History and Philosophy of Science at Tel Aviv University and Co-Director of the Frankfurt-Tel Aviv Center for the Study of Religious and Interreligious Dynamics. He has published widely on the history of 19th century British science and mathematics, on rationality and agency, and the philosophy of Talmudic legal reasoning. His recent work explores the limits of normative self-criticism, transformative dialogue, rabbinic literature’s dispute of religiosity, the rationality of scientific framework transitions, Jewish resources for a pluralist political liberalism, the theo-political roots of Israel's retreat from political Zionism, and reflexive emotions.
    Ascoltato 53 min. 11 sec.
  • 27. Philo of Alexandria | Dr. Maren Niehoff

    4 APR 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Maren Niehoff comment on Philo's ideas and attempt to weave him back into the fabric of Jewish history.  Send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Before joining the Dept. of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Maren R. Niehoff was a Junior Fellow at Harvard and received her doctorate and MA from Oxford University. Her BA studies were split between Berlin and Jerusalem. Today she is an elected member of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. Among her numerous publications are Philo of Alexandria. An Intellectual Biography (Yale 2018; Polonsky Prize 2019) and Homeric Scholarship and Biblical Exegesis in Alexandria (Cambridge 2011; Polonsky Prize 2011).  Currently, she completes a translation and commentary of the Philonic treatise On the Freedom of Every Righteous Person (Brill). Her research interests include the New Testament and rabbinic literature in the Land of Israel.
    Ascoltato 1 h 9 min. 49 sec.
  • 26. Declaring Israel | Dr. Neil Rogachevsky

    21 MAR 2024 · J.J. and Dr. Neil Rogachevsky skip down the winding (theoretical) road towards Israeli independence, and tell the story of the drafting of Ben Gurion's declaration of independence.  Send any complaints or compliments to For more information visit Neil Rogachevsky is assistant professor and associate director at the Straus Center of Yeshiva University, where he teaches Israel studies and political thought. His commentary and essays have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Tablet, The Atlantic, Mosaic, Commentary, Jewish Review of Books, American Affairs, Ha’aretz and other publications. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge.
    Ascoltato 56 min. 43 sec.
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