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Leo Strauss’s Contribution to Modern Jewish Thought and the Philosophy of Religion

Although best known as a political philosopher, Leo Strauss draw from and contributed significantly to Jewish philosophy. Leora Batnitzky, Professor of Religion and acting director of the Program in Judaic Studies at Princeton University, examines Strauss’ standing in modern Jewish thought and the broader implications of this thinking for the philosophy of religion.. Batnitzky’s teaching and research interests include modern Jewish thought, philosophy of religion, and modern legal and political theory. 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 Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000), as well as numerous articles and book chapters. She is the co-editor of Jewish Studies Quarterly and the editor of the forthcoming Martin Buber: Schriften zur Philosophie und Religion. She is currently writing a book called Modern Jewish Thought and the Invention of the Jewish Religion. This past year she was the Berkowitz Fellow at New York University Law School where she began work on a long term project on the philosophical and historical relations between modern religious thought (Jewish and Christian) and modern legal theory (analytic and continental).