Love is central to human life and human meaning. There are many loves to which we can devote our lives—love of family, love of country, love of pleasure, love of honor, love of God. At times, these loves are mutually supportive and at times they come into tension with one another. To think about who we are, and how we should live, we would do well to reflect on how we come to love and long for certain things, and on how the Jewish tradition views and guides these natural longings. This course will use two great texts—one Jewish (the story of Eden) and one Greek (Plato’s Symposium)—to help us think through these issues. We will consider how these two treatments of human love challenge and illuminate one another.
The Tikvah Fund
Alan Rubenstein was educated in Liberal Arts at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and also at Georgetown University. He was a senior consultant for the President’s Council on Bioethics and currently serves as Hanson Scholar of Ethics at Carleton College in Northfield, MN. At Carleton, he teaches ethical thought through close reading of great literature of the West—in particular, Plato, the Hebrew Bible, and Shakespeare. He is currently Director of University Programs for the Tikvah Fund. His published essays have focused on the philosopher Hans Jonas, the Hebrew Bible, and Judaism in middle America. He is married and a father of three 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.