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Why Moses Mendelssohn Matters

Center for Jewish History (map)
15 W. 16th St.
New York, NY 10011

The philosopher Moses Mendelssohn paved the way for Jewish entry into the German mainstream by promoting secular education and advocating for a pluralistic society in which Jews could enjoy civil rights while maintaining their traditions and faith. In the volume Moses Mendelssohn: Enlightenment, Religion, Politics, Nationalism (University of Maryland Press, 2015) leading scholars explore the questions that shaped Mendelssohn’s life and occupied his mind: How compatible are faith and reason, religious loyalty and civic loyalty, religious commitment and cosmopolitanism? The book’s co-editor, Michah Gottlieb (NYU) participates in a discussion on how these same tensions resonate in today’s world. With moderator Abraham Socher (Oberlin/Editor, Jewish Review of Books) and panelist David Sorkin (Yale).