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:
At the Heart of the 20th-Century’s Most Influential Progressive Theory Lies a Rejection of Jews and Judaism
Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily
Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.