by Bezalel Stern

Welcome to the new blog of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization! We envision this blog as a meeting place of sorts for generating discussions, sharing new ideas, and building intellectual community in the spheres of Jewish law and thought, legal theory, comparative legal studies, and contemporary questions, broadly conceived.

An original posting will appear in these pages each Tuesday.  These postings, written by professors and graduate students in academia as well as independent scholars with a special interest in the relationship between Jewish law and contemporary civilization, will take numerous forms.  At times, the postings will consist of an analysis of a primary source (or sources). For example, a writer may recast a Jewish text in a new light through the lens of legal, political, or literary theory.  Sources from various religious traditions will also be analyzed and compared.  At other times, the posting will analyze a particular theory or theories in relation to a new, interdisciplinary model.

The blog will also be a locus of discussion of historical phenomena in relation to Jewish law, especially in situations where those phenomena can be recast in fruitful ways.  Finally, the blog will feature regular book reviews, as well as, on occasion, reviews of a corpus of books relevant to the unique interdisciplinary model of the center.

In addition to our original content, this blog will regularly post links to relevant articles, calls for papers, symposia and lectures, and other pieces throughout the web, as well as links to discussions elsewhere on the web that are relevant to the mission of the blog.

In short, this blog is meant to be – and we hope will become – a locus of high-level thought and discussion regarding the vast corpus of Jewish law and legal theory, broadly conceived.  We at the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization look forward to your comments and participation.

Bezalel Stern is the Director of Research of the CJL

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