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Conference in honor of Ken Seeskin

Religious Philosophers, Philosophical Spirits | May 10 - 11, 2021
A (virtual) conference in honor of Ken Seeskin on the occasion of his retirement.

This conference will be conducted via Zoom. Speakers will submit papers by April 26, to be posted on a conference website, so that participants may read papers in advance. On the panels, each speaker will present a 15-20 minute summary of his or her paper, followed by 20 minutes of discussion. For more information, please contact John Beverley ( A Zoom registration link will be available soon.

Program Schedule:
Monday, May 10

9:00 a.m. | Welcome: Cristina Lafont (chair, philosophy department) 

9:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. | Session 1: Maimonides

 Chair: Barry Wimpfheimer (Northwestern)

            Josef Stern (Chicago), "Maimonides, the Falāsifa, and the Kalam on Certainty and the Certainty of Prophecy”

          Menachem Kellner (Israel), "The Doctrine of the Chosen People: Mordecai Kaplan, Isaac Deutscher and George Steiner vs. Maimonides, Hermann Cohen and Kenneth Seeskin"

10:45 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | Break

11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Session 2: Maimonides 2

 Chair: Judith Baskin (Oregon)    

         Diamond (Waterloo), “Maimonides’ Legal Code: A Particularistic Bridge Between Universal Origins and Universal Ends”

        Daniel Frank (Purdue), “The Structure and Purpose of the Guide” (tentative attendance)      

12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Lunch

2:00 p.m. - 3:30p.m.  | Session 3: Ancient Philosophy and Jewish Philosophy

Chair: Andrew Hull (Northwestern)

     Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh), "Socrates and Maimonides on Serving a Distant God"

     Steven Nadler (Wisconsin), “Spinoza versus Aristotle on Friendship”

Tuesday, May 11

 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. | Session 4

 Chair: Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern)

            Stefano Perfetti (Pisa), “Meaning inhabits the historicity of languages: Walter Benjamin on Judaism and translation”

            Adriano Fabris (Pisa), “Religious Experience at Stake: Philosophy of Religion and Interreligious Dialogue”

  10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. | Break

  11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. |  Session 5

 Chair: Laurie Zoloth (Chicago)

             David Novak (Toronto), “How Can a Philosopher Speak of God?”

             Mira Balberg (UCSD), “The Use and Abuse of Prophecy in Ancient Judaism”

12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. | Lunch

2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. | Session 6

 Chair: Regina Schwartz (Northwestern)

             Stephanie Brenzel (Northwestern) "Prophetic Messianism and the Idea of the Future: Jewish Philosophy  and Modern Physics”

             Michael Morgan (Indiana), “Revelation, Dialogue, and Authority in Twentieth-Century Jewish Philosophy”

3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. | Break

 3:45 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. | Ken Seeskin, closing remarks

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