2016 Fall Lecture in Contemporary Jewish Studies

November 14 & 15

The UNM International Studies Institute proudly presents two events with Jonathan Israel as part of the Contemporary Jewish Studies Lecture Series

Professor Israel, Ph.D., Emeritus
Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
School of Historical Studies
Modern European History

Jonathan Israel’s work is concerned with European and European colonial history from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century. His recent work focuses on the impact of radical thought (especially Spinoza, Bayle, Diderot, and the eighteenth-century French materialists) on the Enlightenment and on the emergence of modern ideas of democracy, equality, toleration, freedom of the press, and individual freedom. His books include European Jewry in the Age of Mercantilism, 1550–1750 (1985); The Dutch Republic: Its Rise, Greatness, and Fall, 1477–1806 (1995); Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity, 1650–1750 (2001); Enlightenment Contested: Philosophy, Modernity, and the Emancipation of Man 1670–1752 (2006); and A Revolution of the Mind: Radical Enlightenment and the Intellectual Origins of Modern Democracy (2009).

Israel portrait

Fall 2016 Contemporary Jewish Studies Lecture
Monday, November 14, 1:00-2:00 pm
Keller Hall, Popejoy Building, UNM (map)
Lecture Q&A to follow the lecture.

The Contest over the Emancipation of European Jewry in the 17th and 18th centuries

Dutch toleration in the seventeenth century, followed by the toleration that arrived with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 in Britain, brought Jews for the first time into the mainstream of modern Western society. Nevertheless, the new situation still fell far short of full emancipation and equality which was not in fact a realistic possibility anywhere until the late eighteenth century owing to prevailing assumptions and the particular relations of church and state. How and why did Jewish emancipation eventually become a real proposition? The key factor, the impact of the Radical Enlightenment on perceptions of the Jews and Judaism, it is argued here, has never really been explained by historians.

Watch the Viideo

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Faculty Colloquium
Tuesday, November 15, 12:00- 1:30 pm
1104 Mesa Vista Hall (History Commons) (map)
oderated by Virginia Scharff, Distinguished Professor of History and Associate Provost

Radical Philosophy in revolutionary Times: the American and French Revolutions Compared (1775-1800)

This lecture will consider the pivotal role of radical democratizing republican thought (Paine, Mirabeau, Condorcet, Brissot, Franklin, Jefferson, and others) in shaping the American and French Revolutions and consider the significance of the parallelism between the American and French Revolutions that emerges from this approach. The lecture will combine intellectual history with analyzing the structure of Early Modern revolution and revolutionary cultures placing a particular emphasis on what historians have come to call the ‘Radical Enlightenment’.

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