For one week discussion on the symposium page will be devoted, but not limited, to a single paper. Where possible, we will seek the participation of the author of the paper under discussion and a number of suitable participants who will comment on the paper. If you have difficulty accessing any of the papers, please e-mail us at and we will be happy to forward you a copy.
December 15, 2019
In this article, I will argue against the Orthodox Jewish view that the Torah should be treated as an absolute authority. I begin with an explanation of what it means to treat something as an absolute authority. I then review examples of norms in the Torah that seem clearly immoral. Next, I explore reasons that people may have for accepting a person, text, or tradition as an absolute authority in general. I argue that none of these reasons can justify absolute authority if the authority prescribes norms that we strongly judge to be immoral. I then respond to three objections to my argument. I end with a note explaining why, contrary to a popular trend, the narrative of the binding of Isaac is not a good place to start this discussion.
January 1, 2020
The Association for the Philosophy of Judaism is pleased to announce several online symposia during 2020 on chapters from the new publication Jewish Philosophy in an Analytic Age, edited by Sam Lebens, Dani Rabinowitz, and Aaron Segal (Oxford University Press, August 2019). Description: Since the classical period, Jewish scholars have drawn on developments in philosophy...
March 18, 2018
From 18-24 March, the APJ is pleased to host a symposium on the Conclusion (chapter 7) of David Benatar’s book Better to Never have Been (OUP 2006) in which he claims that his anti-natalist views are compatible with certain religious views, including some Jewish views. With thanks to OUP, a copy of the Conclusion is...
January 21, 2018
The APJ is pleased to host an online symposium on the following paper: The “Promise of a New Past” by Sam Lebens and Tyron Goldschmidt. Philosophers’ Imprint 2017, 17 (18): 1-25 Respondents: Kenneth Hochstetter (Southern Nevada) Hud Hudson (Western Washington) Ryan Mullins (St. Andrews) Beth Seacord (Southern Nevada) A copy of the paper can be...
June 14, 2017
By Michael Harris, The Torah u-Madda Journal (17/2016-17). With thanks to the editor of TUMJ, please click here for a copy of Harris’s paper. For responses by commentators and reply by Harris, please click here
Symposium on Ken Seeskin’s new book “Thinking about the Torah: A Philosopher Reads the Bible” (JPS, 2016)
February 19, 2017
The symposium centers on chapters 1 & 6 of Ken’s book: Chapter 1 Footnotes to Chapter 1 Chapter 6 Footnotes to Chapter 6 (Permission kindly granted by JPS) Commentators include: Shira Weiss (Yeshiva University) Michael Fagenblat (Open University of Israel) James Diamond (Waterloo) For comments by the above, please click here For Ken’s replies, please...
Symposium – 08-15 May – Gabriel Citron’s “Dreams, Nightmares, and a Defense Against Arguments from Evil”
May 8, 2016
With thanks to Marilyn McCord Adams (Rutgers), John Pittard (Yale), Stephen R Ogden (Johns Hopkins), and Gabriel Citron (Toronto) for participating in this symposium. Gabriel’s original paper can be found here. The paper was the recipient of the APJ’s Annual Essay Prize: Dreams, Nightmares, and a Defense Against Arguments from Evil Responses from our symposiasts,...
March 17-23: Symposium on Shlomo Zuckier’s “A Halakhic-Philosophic Account of Justified Self-Defense”
March 17, 2016
Many thanks to Shlomo, Jeff, Shlomit, Dov, and Shalom for participating in this symposium. Please click on the links below for the materials for this symposium: For a copy of Zuckier’s paper (with permission from the publishers), please click here. For a copy of Wallerstein’s response, please click here. For a copy of Frimer’s response,...
August 16, 2015
Welcome to our symposium on David Benatar’s paper: What’s God Got to Do with It? Atheism and Religious Practice. Ratio 19 (4):383–400. Please find a copy of the paper here: Our symposium begins with three sets of comments on the paper. Comments by Shira Weiss can be found here. Comments by Yuval Avnur can be...
June 14, 2015
The APJ is pleased to devote the week of 14 -21 June to a discussion of Tyron Goldschmidt’s 2015 paper “Commanding Belief” (Ratio 27 (2):163-174), which was the winner of the APJ’s 2013 Essay Prize Competition. The publisher (Wiley) has kindly offered free access to Tyron’s paper via this link until the end of this...
June 8, 2014
Click here for a copy of Sam’s article. Click here for comments by Natalja Deng (Notre Dame) Click here for comments by Dani Rabinowitz (Oxford) Click here for replies by Lebens
March 3, 2014
03 – 10 March “Judaism, Reincarnation and Theodicy“ by Tyron Goldschmidt (UNC Greensboro) and Beth Seacord (Grand Valley State). (Faith and Philosophy 30, 4 (October 2013), 393-417.) For comments by Anastasia Scrutton (Leeds), click here For comments by Bill Wood (Oxford), click here For responses by Tyron and Beth, click here
Symposium on Joshua Golding’s “The rationality of being a traditional religious Jew” (13-20 January)
January 13, 2014
The symposium on Golding’s paper has now commenced. For comments by Silvia Jonas, please click here For comments by Matthew Benton, please click here For comments by Shira Weiss, please click here For Joshua Golding’s replies to the above comments, please click here The symposium is open to all interested parties. Please feel free to...
Symposium on Chapter 4 of Jerome (Yehudah) Gellman’s God’s Kindness has Overwhelmed Us: A Contemporary Doctrine of the Jews as the Chosen People
December 1, 2013
The symposium is now open. Please see below for the opening comments by the two respondents and replies by Gellman. Comments by Luvell Anderson here Comments by Berel Dov Lerner here Replies by Yehudah Gellman here (Gellman’s God’s Kindness has Overwhelmed Us: A Contemporary Doctrine of the Jews as the Chosen People (Chapter 4) (permission...
July 28, 2013
July 28 – August 04 Symposium on Eli Hirsch’s “Talmudic Destiny” Participants include: John Hawthorne (Oxford), Rabbi Chanoch Waxman (Yeshivat Har Etzion), Jeff Russell (Oxford), Dean Zimmerman (Rutgers), and Jeremy Goodman (Oxford). Click here for comments by John Hawthorne Click here for comments by Jeremy Goodman Click here for comments by Jeff Russell Click here...
Symposium on Yitzhak Melamed’s “Salomon Maimon and the Failure of Modern Jewish Philosophy” (April 7-13)
April 7, 2013
The symposium on Yitzhak Melamed’s “Salomon Maimon and the Failure of Modern Jewish Philosophy” is now underway, and will continue through April 13! Please feel free to join the symposium by posting comments below. Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University), Michah Gottlieb (New York University), and Abraham Socher (Oberlin College) will be responding to comments throughout...