At the Heart of the 20th-Century’s Most Influential Progressive Theory Lies a Rejection of Jews and Judaism

March 26 2020

In his 1972 book A Theory of Justice, the political philosopher John Rawls argued that any social or economic disparities are ipso facto unjust, as they stem from a distribution of goods and status based on luck alone. In his recent book The Theology of Liberalism, Eric Nelson traces the roots of Rawls’s thinking to ancient Christian debates regarding free will and predestination, noting that in his early works on theology the philosopher firmly took the side of the “anti-Pelagians,” who believe salvation is unearned. Reviewing Nelson’s book, Tal Fortgang notes how strongly Rawlsian thought is echoed in the discussion of privilege by today’s progressives, and explains how Judaism fits in to Nelson’s understanding of Rawls:

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More about: Judaism, Karl Marx, Political philosophy, Predestination, Social Justice, Theology

The American Association of University Professors Celebrates Anti-Semitism

Last week, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), an influential academic organization, announced that Rabab Ibrahim Abdulhadi of San Francisco State University would receive one of its annual awards, citing her “courage, persistence, political foresight, and concern for human rights . . . in her scholarship, teaching, [and] public advocacy” as well as her efforts to “advance the agenda for social change in Palestine, the United States, and internationally.” Those efforts, notes Jonathan Marks, include supporting the exclusion of the Jewish campus group Hillel from a university-wide event, and lambasting the school’s president for apologizing for that exclusion:

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More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Israel on campus