Introduction: Reexamining the Issue of Religion in the Public Square
April 30, 1999
An increasingly prominent characteristic of our time is the need to reexamine the issue of religion in the public square. The modern synthesis separating church and state and thereby excluding the institutions of religion from the public square, even while allowing the spirit of religion to help shape the public life of various countries, has come unraveled in the face of postmodern changes. These changes include the rise of neopaganism, which has meant that the principles of separation are applied exclusively to the monotheistic religions while pagan religions can penetrate the public square in the guise of folklore and multiculturalism, coupled with a growing felt need to feel that religion, particularly the monotheistic religions, have something important to contribute to resolving the issues of the day and cannot fairly be excluded.
The Themes of the Jewish Political Studies Review
April 4, 1989
The founding of the Jewish Political Studies Review marks yet an other major step in the emergence of the field which can be said to have begun twenty years ago with the publication of the first bibliographic essay on the subject in the American Jewish Yearbook. In the intervening 22 years, courses in Jewish political studies have been introduced in over twenty universities around the world, a basic literature has been published, and some half a dozen conferences have been held to address issues in the field. Regular sessions are held at the World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, the annual meeting of the Association for Jewish Studies in Boston, and at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association. An annual Workshop in the Study and Teaching of the Jewish Political Tradition, that brings together scholars from throughout the world, is entering its seventh year. At least one systematic theory has been developed to frame the field and parts of it are already being challenged by younger scholars, a sure sign of having arrived.