Authors Forum to Address “Has the God of Liberalism Failed?”

Press Contact: Nina Jacobson
Office: (212) 678-8950

March 28, 2008, New York, NY

Dr. Mark Lilla, professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, whose recent book, The Stillborn God, was excerpted in the Sunday New York Times Magazine, will discuss “Has the God of Liberalism Failed” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 10 at The Jewish Theological Seminary, 3080 Broadway (at 122nd Street), New York City. Dr. Leora Batnitzky, professor of Judaic Studies at Princeton University, will respond.

Dr. Lilla’s talk, based on The Stillborn God, will address the modern struggle to separate religion from politics and the mixed result that it has achieved.

Dr. Lilla was trained at the University of Michigan and Harvard University, where he received his PhD in 1990. He has held positions at New York University, Oxford University (visitor), and most recently on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. His work ranges widely in the history of ideas, though his central concerns have been the relation between religion and politics and the legacy of the modern Western enlightenment. His books include G.B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern, The Reckless Mind: Intellectuals in Politics, and, most recently, The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West. His current research focuses on the religious concepts of conversion and innocence.

Dr. Batnitzky was trained at Barnard College and JTS, and received her PhD from Princeton University. Her teaching and research interests include the philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, and contemporary legal and political theory. Funded by a three-year New Directions fellowship from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, her newest project focuses on the relations between modern legal theory and modern religious thought. Dr. Batnitzky is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered and Strauss and Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation. In 2002, she was awarded Princeton University’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching.

The program concludes a three-part series entitled “Authors Forum: Religion—Politics, Policy, Power,” sponsored by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at JTS. Dr. Alan Mittleman, director of the Finkelstein Institute and professor of Jewish Philosophy at JTS, will moderate.

Admission is free; reservations are required. For further information or to RVSP, please call (212) 280-6093 or email Attendees are requested to have photo IDs available and arrive at least fifteen minutes prior to the program to allow sufficient time for registration.