Yale Law School to Host Lecture Series on Rabbinic Perspectives on Law

University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Yeshiva University, Suzanne Last Stone, will explore Talmudic law in modern secular, religious and political contexts in the 2010 Franz Rosenzweig Lectures on October 10, 11 and 12 at Yale Law School, 127 Wall St., Rm. 129.

Titled, “Uprooting the Law: Rabbinic Perspectives,” the free and public lecture series is sponsored by the Program in Judaic Studies and the Yale Law School.

The aim of the three lectures is to read the classic Jewish text “in light of contemporary legal and political debates – both secular and Jewish – and to allow the text to shed light on contemporary problems in law and politics,” says Stone, who is also the director of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization, at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

The schedule of lectures follows:

Law, Ethics, and Narrative
October 10—4 p.m.
Looks at King David’s difficult choice to hang Saul’s sons to pacify the Gibeonites as a window onto rabbinic and contemporary legal methodology.

Revenge and Reconciliation, Justice and Mercy
October 11—7:30 p.m.
Delves into the way moral emotions of resentment and pity intersect with punishment, forgiveness and mercy in law, both Jewish and secular.

Law and Political Identity
October 12—7:30 p.m.
Focuses on the tension between universal norms and national identity in contemporary halakhic responsa, in the wake of the re-entry of Jewish law into affairs of state, and in contemporary secular jurisprudence, in the wake of globalization.

Stone has held the Gruss Visiting Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at both the Harvard and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools, and also has visited at Princeton, Columbia Law, Hebrew University Law, and Tel Aviv Law. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia Law School and was a Danforth Fellow in Jewish History and Classical Religions at Yale. In addition to teaching a course in Jewish Law and Political Thought and Jewish Law and American Legal Theory, she currently teaches Federal Courts and Law, Religion and the State. She has published in the Harvard Law Review and the Yale Journal of Law & Humanities and she has contributed to “Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society” (Princeton University Press) and “Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy” (Indiana University Press). Her work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Arabic.

The Franz Rosenzweig Lectures are made possible by a gift from the Estate of Arthur A. Cohen.

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Media Contact

Dorie Baker: dorie.baker@yale.edu, 203-432-1345