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Princeton political theorist to discuss ‘ideas of peace’ in Hebrew Bible April 24 at SU

Michael Walzer looks to ancient texts for new insights into government, law, and politics

Apr 3, 2013 — Article by: Rob Enslin

Photo of Michael Walzer

Michael Walzer

One of today’s leading political theorists is lecturing in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Michael Walzer, professor emeritus of social science at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University, will deliver this year’s B.G. Rudolph Lecture, “Ideas of Peace in Hebrew Scripture,” on Wednesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. in room 010 of Crouse-Hinds Hall. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 315-443-1011.

The B.G. Rudolph Lecture is organized and presented by the Judaic Studies Program in The College of Arts and Sciences.

“Professor Walzer will discuss six Biblical passages, from Deuteronomy to Isaiah, where different ideas of peace are described and defended,” says Zachary Braiterman, professor of religion and director of the Judaic Studies Program. “He also will argue how these different ideas still figure prominently in contemporary debates about international politics.”

A contributing editor to The New Republic and a longtime co-editor of Dissent Magazine, Walzer is an internationally acclaimed scholar, author, editor, and lecture. Much of his research involves issues of political obligation, just and unjust war, nationalism and ethnicity, economic justice, and the welfare state.

Walzer’s more than two dozen books --including “Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument With Historical Illustrations” (2008), “Exodus and Revolution” (1986), and “Spheres of Justice: A Defense of Pluralism and Equality" (1984), all published by Basic Books—have contributed to a growing interest in practical, issued-focused ethics and a pluralistic approach to political and moral life.   

“For centuries, the Bible has served as a kind of reference point for Western politics,” says Braiterman, alluding to Walzer’s latest book, “In God’s Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible” (Yale University Press, 2012).  “Professor Walzer will discuss how new meanings of politics, government, and the law may be teased out of ancient texts.” 

Based in The College, the Judaic Studies Program offers major and minor degree programs focusing on Jewish cultures and ideas in modern times.
Contact Information

Rob Enslin
rmenslin@syr.edu
315-443-3403