Below, we provide an overview of February – May 2017 Thinking Matters course offerings. (The full 2016–17 mini-course overview can be accessed by clicking here.)
Join our impressive line-up of local star teachers and CBS experts to wrestle with today’s urgent questions of Jewish philosophy. Can there be such a thing as a Jewish philosophy, or a philosophy of Judaism? How does Judaism relate to the broader question of the relationship of ethics, religion, and theology to philosophy? (For an introduction to Jewish modern thought and philosophy, we recommend Steven Katz’s essay, “Eliezar Berkovits & Modern Jewish Philosophy.”)
All classes meet on Thursday evenings from 6:30 – 8 p.m. All sessions are FREE for CBS members, but students are encouraged to make a donation to CBS. For nonmembers, each single session is $12. Alternatively, nonmembers can purchase an 8-session pack for $84, or the full semester subscription for $180.
Origins Of Totalitarianism From Hannah Arendt To Today
February 9, March 9, April 6, & April 27
(4 sessions w/ Dr. Michael Loebs)
Course Description: Join Dr. Michael Loebs for a re-evaluation of the famed German Jewish political philosopher, Hannah Arendt. This four-session mini-course will involve much interactive discussion about the diverse themes in Arendt’s political philosophy, including authority, legitimacy, popular sovereignty, and its moral implications throughout the world and at home.
Readings: from The Portable Hannah Arendt, “Perplexities of Rights of Man” and “Little Rock”
Session 1: Click here to download
Session 2: Click here to download
Session 3: Click here to download
Session 4: Click here to download
Thinking Through Halakhic Mind/Man In Soloveitchik
February 16 & TBD (due to postponement)
(2 sessions w/ Dr. Adrian Mirvish)
Course Description: What exactly is the status of Jewish law or Halacha? Is it a set of sometimes arcane laws that have simply, historically, over time, evolved to stand as commandments? Is this set of laws obeyed on a subjective basis, because of what Jews over the ages have come to feel and experience – both communally and personally – or is the Halacha rather in some sense truly objective, and if so how exactly does it affect our lives? Another question that can be asked in connection with these positions: is there is any viable connection or relation between objective and subjective poles of religious experience?
Soloveitchik deals with all these issues, setting up a fascinating dialectic between objective and subjective forms of experience plus the phenomenon of revelation. We will explore these topics in the two classes dealing with his thought.
Readings: The Lonely Man of Faith, by Joseph Soloveitchik