Lecture by Avishai Margalit (Hebrew University, Jerusalem). Co-sponsored by the McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society, the Department of Religious Studies, the Patrick Suppes Center for History and Philosophy of Science, and the Stanford Humanities Center. Part of a series on Science, Religion, and Democracy. For a complete listing of events in the series, click here.
This is an account of an engaged observer coming from Jerusalem, who has to grapple, on a daily basis, with the question of what role religion plays in the various conflicts in the Middle East. Is it a salient symptom of these conflicts or rather their cause? More of a symptom than a cause is the short answer. The long answer calls for a whole lecture.
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Avishai Margalit is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is one of the foremost thinkers and commentators on the contemporary human condition, the moral issues of our time, and current problems facing Western societies. In addition to his influence as a philosopher, he is highly regarded for his profound and cogent observations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader struggle between Islam and the West. As the author of Idolatry (with Moshe Halbertal, 1992), The Decent Society (1996), Views in Review: Politics and Culture in the State of the Jews (1998), The Ethics of Memory (2002), Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies (with Ian Buruma, 2004), and On Compromise and Rotten Compromises (2009), Margalit has transformed philosophical perspectives on a range of political and societal issues. He is the winner of the 2012 Ernst Bloch Prize in philosophy.