Explores how the thought of Leo Strauss amounts to a model for thinking about the connection between philosophy, Jewish thought, and history.
In Leo Strauss on the Borders of Judaism, Philosophy, and History, Jeffrey A. Bernstein explores how the thought of Leo Strauss amounts to a model for thinking about the connection between philosophy, Jewish thought, and history. For Bernstein, Strauss shows that a close study of the history of philosophy—from the "ancients" to "medievals" to "moderns"—is necessary for one to appreciate the fundamental distinction between the forms of life Strauss terms "Jerusalem" and "Athens," that is, order through revealed Law and free philosophical thought, respectively. Through an investigation of Strauss's published texts; examination of his intellectual biography and history; and making use of correspondence, archival materials, and seminar transcripts, Bernstein shows how Strauss's concern with the relation between Judaism and philosophy spanned his entire career. His findings will be of use to those interested in the thought of Strauss, the history of Jewish thought, and the relation between religion, philosophy, and politics.
Jeffrey A. Bernstein is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of the Holy Cross.
"In offering us a cogent, well-argued, and well-researched reading of what many, including Leo Strauss himself, claim to be the central issue at stake in his (and all profound) thought, namely, the theological-political problem (TPP), Bernstein's volume capably joins the fray surrounding the controversial twentieth-century thinker." — Religious Studies Review
"Bernstein's book is probably the best non-Straussian treatment of the problem of Athens and Jerusalem in the thought of Leo Strauss … [a] rich book." — Theory & Event
"Bernstein poses fundamental questions about Strauss by situating him as one of the Jewish thinkers of his time, the twentieth-century critical period that separates modern Judaism from what comes after. Bernstein avoids the cheap historicism of claiming that it is this situation that defines or limits Strauss. Rather, he, uniquely, shows the ways in which Strauss leads us to think by presenting himself in dialogue with these rival thinkers." — Review of Politics
"…[a] valuable contribution to the ongoing engagement with the thought of Leo Strauss." — CHOICE