The nations and cultures of Western civilization are divided today over a series of ideological debates between “conservatives” and “progressives.” They revolve around questions of nationalism and the international order, traditional family values, the role of religion in the public sphere, the meaning and scope of individual rights, and the future of democracy itself. In this seminar course, we will read a selection of provocative recent books on these great political and cultural divides. And we will explore how Jews should respond to these debates, and what Judaism and Jewish ideas can contribute to contemporary discourse.
Rabbi Shlomo Brody
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Brody is the co-dean of the Tikvah Online Academy and founding director of the Tikvah Overseas Students Institute. A columnist for The Jerusalem Post since 2007, Brody previously served for a decade as a senior instructor at Yeshivat Hakotel and as a junior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Brody’s writings focus on making Jewish texts accessible to broader audiences while applying them to contemporary social and ethical dilemmas. His work has appeared in Mosaic, First Things, The Federalist, Tablet, Tzohar, The Forward, Hakirah, and other popular publications, and has been cited in Israeli Supreme Court decisions. His first book, A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates (Maggid), received a 2014 National Jewish Book Award. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, he received rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, an MA in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University, and his Ph.D. from Bar Ilan University Law School, where he continues to serve as a post-doctoral fellow. Originally from Houston, Texas, Rabbi Brody now lives in Modi’in with his wife Rocky and five children.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.