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Cambridge Interfaith Programme

Book cover featuring monochrome image of a cat-like beast teeth gnashing and tail thrashing.

Is commitment to God compatible with modern citizenship? 

Dr Daniel Weiss takes on this question with philosophers Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig and Walter Benjamin. Re-reading these thinkers alongside classical rabbinical responses to the violence carried out by God and people, Weiss highlights their (hitherto unperceived) radical approaches to politics and Jewishness.

About the event

Modern Jewish philosophy and the politics of divine violence (Cambridge University Press) was published in April 2023. This book launch event is held in partnership with the University of Cambridge Alumni Festival.

Discussion will be livestreamed for those at a distance. For those able to join us in Cambridge, the event will be followed by a celebratory afternoon tea at the Faculty of Divinity. 

Please register (via Eventbrite) to receive a reminder and further practical information.

About the author

Daniel H. Weiss is Polonsky-Coexist Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the Faculty of Divinity and Fellow and Graduate Tutor at Darwin College. He joined the University of Cambridge in 2010, and has been active as both participant and organiser of events and research under the auspices of the Cambridge Interfaith Programme. He is co-lead of the Scripture and Violence Project (, and a co-investigator on the Templeton-funded project God and Human Speech.

Read Weiss's academic biography and view a list of key publications on the Faculty of Divinity web pages

About the book

Modern Jewish philosophy and the politics of divine violence brings to light striking political aspects of the writings of the modern Jewish philosophers, who have often been understood as non-political. In addition, Weiss shows how the four modern thinkers are more radical and more shaped by Jewish tradition than has previously been thought. Taken as a whole, Weiss' book argues for a fundamental rethinking of the relationship between Judaism and politics, the history of Jewish thought, and the ethical and political dynamics of the broader Western philosophical tradition.

Visit the Cambridge University Press for further information and purchasing options.

Friday, 22 September, 2023 - 14:00 to 15:30
Contact email: 
Event location: 
Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge (also livestreamed)

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