Leo Strauss and Contemporary Thought

Reading Strauss Outside the Lines

Edited by Jeffrey A. Bernstein & Jade Larissa Schiff

Subjects: Philosophy, Political Theory, Jewish Studies, Intellectual History, Sociology
Series: SUNY series in the Thought and Legacy of Leo Strauss
Hardcover : 9781438483955, 359 pages, June 2021
Paperback : 9781438483948, 359 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents


Jeffrey A. Bernstein

Part I: Arts of Reading and Seeing

1. Liberalism and the Question: Strauss and Derrida on Politics and Philosophy
Jade Larissa Schiff

2. Purloined Letters—Lacan avec Strauss
Matthew J. Sharpe

3. Seeing through Law: Phenomenological Thought in Soloveitchik and Strauss
Jeffrey A. Bernstein

4. Claude Lefort and Leo Strauss: On A Philosophical Discourse
Isabel Rollandi

Part II: History And Politics

5. A Civil Encounter: Leo Strauss and Charles Taylor on Religious Pluralism
Jessica L. Radin

6. Care of the Self and the Invention of Legitimate Government: Foucault and Strauss on Platonic Political Philosophy
Miguel Vatter

7. A Fruitful Disagreement: The Philosophical Encounter between George P. Grant and Leo Strauss
Waller R. Newell

8. Strauss and Blumenberg on the Caves of the Moderns
Danilo Manca

9. Writing the Querelle des Anciens et Modernes: Leo Strauss and Ferdinand Tönnies on Hobbes and the Sociology of Philosophy
Peter Gostmann

Part III: Culture and Critique

10. Leo Strauss and Jürgen Habermas: The Quest for Reason in Twentieth-Century Lifeworlds
Rodrigo Chacón

11. Heidegger's Challenge to the Renaissance of Socratic Political Rationalism
Alexander S. Duff

12. The Wheel of History: Nihilism as Moral Protest and Destruction of the Present in Leo Strauss and Albert Camus
Ingrid L. Anderson

13. Who's Laughing? Leo Strauss on Comedy and Mockery
Menachem Feuer

14. Leo Strauss and Walter Benjamin: Thinking "In a Moment of Danger"
Philipp von Wussow

About the Contributors

Broadens the horizons of Strauss’s thought by initiating dialogues between him and figures with whom little or no dialogue has yet occurred.


Leo Strauss's readings of historical figures in the philosophical tradition have been justly well explored; however, his relation to contemporary thinkers has not enjoyed the same coverage. In Leo Strauss and Contemporary Thought, an international group of scholars examines the possible conversations between Strauss and figures such as Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Charles Taylor, and Hans Blumenberg. The contributors examine topics including religious liberty, the political function of comedy, law, and the relation between the Ancients and the Moderns, and bring Strauss into many new and original discussions that will be of use to those interested in the thought of Strauss, the history of philosophy and political theory, and contemporary continental thought.

Jeffrey A. Bernstein is Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross and the author of Leo Strauss on the Borders of Judaism, Philosophy, and History, also published by SUNY Press. Jade Larissa Schiff is Assistant Professor of Politics at Oberlin College and the author of Burdens of Political Responsibility: Narrative and the Cultivation of Responsiveness.