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Sacks, Elias R. Associate Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • Sacks’s research focuses on Jewish thought and philosophy of religion, along with related fields such as religious ethics, Jewish-Christian relations, theories of religion, religion and politics, and hermeneutics. His first book, “Moses Mendelssohn’s Living Script: Philosophy, Practice, History, Judaism,” explores the account of Jewish practice in the Hebrew and German writings of Moses Mendelssohn, the Enlightenment philosopher generally seen as the founder of modern Jewish thought. Sacks is currently working on a project on Nachman Krochmal, modernity’s leading Eastern European Jewish thinker. Sacks’s recent and forthcoming articles explore Mendelssohn along with medieval and modern thinkers such as Maimonides, Spinoza, Krochmal, Hermann Cohen, Franz Rosenzweig, and Jacob Taubes. Sacks also serves as a translator for a new English edition of Mendelssohn’s writings, along with a new collection of Cohen’s works and an anthology of responses to Spinoza.

keywords

  • Jewish thought, philosophy of religion, hermeneutics, Jewish-Christian relations, theories of religion, religious ethics, religion and politics

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • JWST 3100 - Judaism
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Explores Jewish religious experience and its expression in thought, ritual, ethics, and social institutions. Same as RLST 3100.
  • JWST 4190 - Love and Desire
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Explores debates about the following questions: what and whom should humans and gods love, and what role should passions play in religion? Examining traditions such as Judaism and Christianity, this course considers diverse views on topics including religion and sexuality, the promise and perils of loving gods and humans, and the relationship between love, politics, and violence. Same as RLST 4190 and RLST 5190.
  • RLST 2400 - Religion, Ethics and Politics
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Explores the role of religion in today's world, focusing on debates around religion, ethics and politics. Examining diverse voices from Christianity, Judaism and other traditions, this course considers religion's role in debates about issues such as same-sex marriage, race, climate change, war, criminal justice, torture, sexual ethics, abortion and economic justice.
  • RLST 3100 - Judaism
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Explores Jewish religious experience and its expression in thought, ritual, ethics, and social institutions. Same as JWST 3100.
  • RLST 4190 - Love and Desire
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Explores debates about the following questions: what and whom should humans and gods love, and what role should passions play in religion? Examining traditions such as Judaism and Christianity, this course considers diverse views on topics including religion and sexuality, the promise and perils of loving gods and humans, and the relationship between love, politics, and violence. Same as RLST 5190 and JWST 4190.
  • RLST 5190 - Love and Desire
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Explores debates about the following questions: what and whom should humans and gods love, and what role should passions play in religion? Examining traditions such as Judaism and Christianity, this course considers diverse views on topics including religion and sexuality, the promise and perils of loving gods and humans, and the relationship between love, politics, and violence. Same as RLST 4190 and JWST 4190.
  • RLST 6830 - Introduction to the Academic Study of Religion
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018
    Introduction to the graduate academic study of religion through the exploration of contemporary models and issues that demonstrate the nature and future of the field. Students prepares a profile of intended area of research.
  • RLST 6945 - Portfolio: Non-Thesis Option
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020
    Course work finished or in the last semester. May be repeated up to 4 total credit hours.

Background

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