Faculty Associate

Leora F. Batnitzky

Professor of Religion

237 1879 Hall
batnitzk@Princeton.EDU
phone: 609-258-4487; fax: 609-258-2346
C.V.

Leora Batnitzky, Professor of Religion, is concerned with the philosophical and historical continuities between modern religious thought (Jewish and Christian) and modern legal theory (analytic and Continental). She is on leave for the academic year 2006-2007 during which time she is the Berkowitz Fellow in the Hauser Global Law Program at New York University Law School. She is the author of Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006) and Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000). She is also the editor of the forthcoming Martin Buber: Schriften zur Philosophie und Religion and, since 2004, the co-editor of Jewish Studies Quarterly.
Publications: 
Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation by Leora F. Batnitzky
(Cambridge University Press, May 2006)

Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas, two twentieth-century Jewish philosophers and two extremely provocative thinkers whose reputations have grown considerably over the last twenty years, are rarely studied together. This is due to the disparate interests of many of their intellectual heirs. Strauss has influenced political theorists and policy makers on the right while Levinas has been championed in the humanities by different cadres associated with postmodernist thought. In Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation, Leora Batnitzky brings together these two seemingly incongruous contemporaries, demonstrating that they often had the same philosophical sources and their projects had many formal parallels. While such a comparison is valuable in itself for better understanding each figure, it also raises profound questions in the current debate on the definitions of 'religion', suggesting new ways that religion makes claims on both philosophy and politics.