Feigenbaum, J76 Lecture
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Can obligation be a source of meaning, even joy? Or does obligation always convey a sense of burden? Jewish religious traditions center the idea, and the daily experience, of obligation, yet we live in a society that prizes liberty. How can we understand Jewish accounts of obligation as a constituent part of the human condition while also valuing freedom?
Mara H. Benjamin is Irene Kaplan Leiwant Professor and Chair of Jewish Studies at Mount Holyoke College. She holds a Ph.D. in modern Jewish thought and religious studies from Stanford University. Her 2018 book, The Obligated Self: Maternal Subjectivity and Jewish Thought (Indiana) received the 2019 American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence in the Study of Religion, Constructive-Reflective category, and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award in 2018. She is also the author of Rosenzweig’s Bible: Reinventing Scripture for Jewish Modernity (Cambridge, 2009).
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