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Leo Baeck Institute London Lecture Series 2012

2012 Lecture SeriesThis season’s theme is Jews and Justice. The Lecture Series aims to explore their concepts of justice, how they are related to the different political and cultural environments they lived in, as well as the potential juridical and political conflicts that arise from these concepts.

Series flyer here.

Prof. Susan James (Birkbeck College, London)

Drawing on the work of his contemporary, Thomas Hobbes, Spinoza argues that law and the norms of justice around which it is organised are an entirely human creation.  Communities make laws, and in doing so make justice.  But how do they develop understandings of justice that do more than reflect the interests of the powerful, and provide standards for assessing and criticizing social arrangements?  This lecture explores Spinoza’s account of the philosophical, theological and…

Prof. Gareth Stedman-Jones (Queen Mary, University of London)

In his lecture Gareth Stedman Jones will discuss the biography of Heinrich Marx, Karl Marx’s father. He will examine his relation with the French Revolution, Napoleon and the Prussian takeover of the Rhineland and then contrast his experience at the end with that of his son. He suggests that father and son represent a contrast between two different views of the French Revolution, that of 1789 (emancipation in a liberal sense) and 1792 (Rousseau, the Republic and the disappearance of all special…

Prof Vivian Liska (University of Antwerp) ‘Before the Law stands a doorkeeper. To this doorkeeper comes a man…’: Kafka, Narrative and the Law This lecture is organised in cooperation with the German Historical Institute and the Austrian Cultural Forum.

Wednesday 23 May, 6.30pm at the German Historical Institute 

Douglas G. Morris, PhD, J.D. (Federal Defenders of New York)

In 1941 the German Jewish lawyer Ernst Fraenkel published his classic account  of Nazism, The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship. It is the only scholarly critique of Nazism written from within Nazi Germany. Fraenkel’s activities from 1933 through 1938 raise questions about the possibilities of scholarly inquiry under Nazi rule and more. While many Jewish lawyers lost their law licences, Fraenkel continued to represent clients in political trials until 1938. The…