CANCELLED - Jeffrey Israel - "Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion" - Martha Nussbaum

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 - 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
57th Street Books

**This event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule in the coming months.**

"Jeffrey Israel has written an amazing book. He wants us to love America in a distinctly political register that ties our individual flourishing to the flourishing of every compatriot. Political love is essential to realizing the promise of justice. But he knows that political love must live alongside historically rooted animosities that deeply divide us. Israel squares this apparent circle with play. In play, we give full-throated voice to our animosities: we engage them, with no thought of transcending them. Seems too good to be true? Start with the beautiful chapter on Lenny Bruce, and then go for a great ride."Joshua Cohen, author of The Arc of the Moral Universe and Other Essays

Jeffrey Israel discusses Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion: How Popular Culture Can Defuse Intractable Differences. He will be joined in conversation by Martha Nussbaum. A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

Presented in partnership with the Karla Scherer Center for the Study of American Culture

At 57th Street Books

RSVP HERE (Please note that your RSVP is requested but not required.)

About the book: In the United States, people are deeply divided along lines of race, class, political party, gender, sexuality, and religion. Many believe that historical grievances must eventually be left behind in the interest of progress toward a more just and unified society. But too much in American history is unforgivable and cannot be forgotten. How then can we imagine a way to live together that does not expect people to let go of their entrenched resentments?

Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion offers an innovative argument for the power of playfulness in popular culture to make our capacity for coexistence imaginable. Jeffrey Israel explores how people from different backgrounds can pursue justice together, even as they play with their divisive grudges, prejudices, and desires in their cultural lives. Israel calls on us to distinguish between what belongs in a raucous “domain of play” and what belongs in the domain of the political. He builds on the thought of John Rawls and Martha Nussbaum to defend the liberal tradition against challenges posed by Frantz Fanon from the left and Leo Strauss from the right. In provocative readings of Lenny Bruce’s stand-up comedy, Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint, and Norman Lear’s All in the Family, Israel argues that postwar Jewish American popular culture offers potent and fruitful examples of playing with fraught emotions. Living with Hate in American Politics and Religion is a powerful vision of what it means to live with others without forgiving or forgetting.

About the author: Jeffrey Israel is an associate professor in the Department of Religion and the Jewish Studies Program at Williams College.

About the interlocutor: Martha C. Nussbaum is Ernst Freund Distinguished Service Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of many books, most recently The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis (2018), and the winner of the 2018 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture.

Event Location: 
57th Street Books
1301 E. 57th St
Chicago, IL 60637