The Future of Freedom:
Yoram Hazony and Walter Russell Mead in Conversation
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
6:00–8:00 p.m. (Doors open at 5:45 p.m.)
The Tikvah Center, 165 East 56th Street, New York City
On Wednesday, September 14, alumni of Tikvah’s advanced programs and friends of Mosaic are invited to an intimate discussion between the Israeli philosopher Yoram Hazony and the American author and historian Walter Russell Mead. The subject of their conversation is the same as the title of Yoram Hazony’s new essay in Mosaic: “Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom.”
Britain’s June 23 referendum on independence, Hazony writes, was the most important vote in a democratic nation in a generation. Its outcome, in favor of an exit from the EU, provoked fear, outrage, and despair in elite opinion in both Europe and the United States. At the same time, however, the re-emergence of an independent Britain has rallied profound admiration and enthusiasm among millions of others who still hold fast to the old understanding that the independence and self-determination of one’s nation hold the key to a life of honor and freedom.
In “Nationalism and the Future of Western Freedom,” Hazony argues that the political battle over the fate of the nation is the most consequential struggle of our time—one whose roots extend all the way back to the struggle between the ancient Israelites and the overweening imperial powers of their day. It was in the Hebrew Bible that the national idea was born, an idea whose enduring virtues would in time profoundly shape the emergence of the modern democratic West. But what is the status of the national idea today, and why do so many in the West oppose it? Can it survive if cut off from its religious origins, or can those origins be recovered in the secular West? What does today’s widespread disparagement of national independence mean for the Jewish state, the state of Israel?
This event is by invitation only. For questions or further information, please contact Vera Manevich at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yoram Hazony is president of the Herzl Institute. He is founder and past president of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, now Shalem College. His books include The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel’s Soul, and God and Politics in Esther. Mr. Hazony is director of the John Templeton Foundation’s project in Jewish Philosophical Theology and a member of the Israel Council for Higher Education committee on Liberal Studies in Israel’s universities. He holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Political Theory from Rutgers University.
Walter Russell Mead is the Distinguished Scholar in American Strategy and Statesmanship at the Hudson Institute, the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, and Editor-at-Large of The American Interest. From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Mead was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, serving as the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy from 2003 until his departure. Mr. Mead is the author of Special Providence: American Foreign Policy and How It Changed the World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World (Alfred A. Knopf, 2007), and The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel and the Fate of the Jewish People (Alfred A. Knopf, 2017), and writes regularly on international affairs for many of the world’s leading publications. He serves as a regular reviewer of books on American history and foreign policy for Foreign Affairs and frequently contributes articles and review essays to the journal. He was a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City between 1997 and 2010 and is a founding board member of the New America Foundation. Mr. Mead is an honors graduate of Groton and Yale, where he received prizes for history, debate, and the translation of New Testament Greek. He is a native of South Carolina and lives in Jackson Heights, New York. Read his full biography.