Leora Batnitzky

Leora Batnitzky joined the faculty in 1997. Her teaching and research interests include philosophy of religion, modern Jewish thought, hermeneutics, and contemporary legal and political theory. In 2002 she received Princeton’s President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. She is the author of Idolatry and Representation: The Philosophy of Franz Rosenzweig Reconsidered (Princeton, 2000), Leo Strauss and Emmanuel Levinas: Philosophy and the Politics of Revelation (Cambridge, 2006), and How Judaism Became a Religion: An Introduction to Modern Jewish Thought (Princeton, 2011). She is currently working on two books, the first a comparative study of conversion controversies in Israel and India, tentatively titled What is Religious Freedom? The Case of Conversion in Israel and India, and the second on the Jewish apostate and Catholic saint Edith Stein, tentatively titled The Continued Relevance of Edith Stein for Jewish and Christian Self-Understanding.

She is co-editor, with Ilana Pardes, of The Book of Job: Aesthetics, Ethics and Hermeneutics (de Gruyter, 2014), with Hanoch Dagan, of Institutionalizing Rights and Religion (Cambridge University Press, 2017), with Yonatan Brafman, of an anthology Jewish Legal Theories (Brandies Library of Modern Jewish Thought, 2018) and, with Ra’anan Boustan, of the journal Jewish Studies Quarterly. Along with Vivian Liska and Ilana Pardes, she is co-director of the international Center for Bible, Culture, and Modernity, is external). She served as Chair of the Department of Religion from 2010-2019. She served as Chair of the Department of Religion from 2010-2019 and currently serves as Director of Princeton’s Program in Judaic Studies.

Contemporary arguments about Jewish law uniquely reflect both the story of Jewish modernity and a crucial premise of modern conceptions of law generally:...