"Light and Enlightenment in Early Modern Philosophy and Religion"

Presented by:
Norbert Samuelson, Professor of Religious Studies, ASU
This lecture surveys the early modern period of western European history (from the 14th to the 17th centuries) to compare changes in the conception of "light" and "vision" in the physical sciences with changes in the conception of "enlightenment" in Jewish and Christian eschatology with an eye to understanding more generally the complex ways that science and religion are related.
About Norbert Samuelson
Norbert M. Samuelson is the Harold and Jean Grossman Chair of Jewish Studies at Arizona State University and Professor of Religious Studies. In addition to over 200 articles and three edited volumes, he is the author of seven books. He began with a pioneering work on Levi Ben Gershom (Gersonides) –– Gersonides on God’s Knowledge (1977) which focused on the interplay between science and religion in a 14th century thinker. Since then he authored three major constructive philosophico-theological works—The First Seven Days: A Philosophical Commentary on the Creation of Genesis (1992), Judaism and the Doctrine of Creation (1994), and Revelation and the God of Israel (2002)—that show how the biblical text could be better understood in the light of contemporary physics and the life sciences. Prof. Samuelson also wrote A Users’ Guide to Franz Rosenzweig’s Star of Redemption (1999), to help readers decipher this seminal text in 20th century Jewish philosophy, and Jewish Philosophy: An Historical Introduction (2003), a textbook for undergraduates. He is a founding member of the Academy of Jewish Philosophy, International Society for Science and Religion, the Franz Rosenzweig Gesellschaft and the Hermann Cohen Gesellschaft in addition to being active in the American Theological Society, the American Philosophical Association, and being a board member of the Metanexus Institute of Science and Religion. In these organizations he has articulated a distinctly Jewish way of doing philosophy and demonstrated how to think creatively and precisely about the interface of reason and faith.

Part of the ACMRS Ad Hoc Lecture Series

Coor Hall, Room 4403 (ASU Tempe Campus)