Sherman Community Lecture in Jewish Studies 2017

"A Century of Jewish liberalism: 1848-1948"
Prof. Abigail Green (Oxford University)

Time and date: 5:30pm on Thu 25 May 2017
Venue: contact for venue.

ABSTRACT: From the revolutions of 1848 to the UN Declaration of Human rights, Jewish men and women made a vital contribution to the evolution of Western liberalism – as revolutionary leaders, government ministers, journalists, lawyers, social reformers, feminists and human rights activists. Offering a panaromic overview of the Jewish contribution to liberal political culture on both sides of the Atlantic, this lecture illuminates the lives and legacies of individual Jewish activists who became lynchpins in the liberal movement, both nationally and internationally: from the ‘father of German democracy’ Johann Jacoby to post-war luminaries like Raphael Lemkin, Isaiah Berlin and Hannah Arendt.

BIOGRAPHY: Abigail Green has been Fellow and Tutor in History at Brasenose since 2000. Her first book, Fatherlands: state-building and nationhood in 19th century Germany (2001), explored the tensions between state-building and nationhood in Germany through a comparative analysis of Hanover, Saxony and Wurtemberg.Shortlisted in the 2002 Das Historisches Buch awards, it is regarded as a seminal contribution to the literature on German nation-state formation. More recently, her work has focused on international Jewish history and transnational humanitarian activism. She won the Sami Rohr Choice Award 2012 for her biography of Sir Moses Montefiore (1784-1885), the preeminent Jewish figure of the 19th century. Moses Montefiore: Jewish Liberator, Imperial Hero (2010) was also named a New Republic Best Book of 2010, and a TLS Book of the Year 2010. Green's work on Montefiore generated her broader interest in religious internationalism, and she is co-editor (with Vincent Viaene) of Religious Internationals in the Modern World (2012), which examines this phenomenon comparatively across different religious traditions. She is now working towards a book on liberalism and the Jews as a way of bringing these various threads together. She welcomes proposals from graduates that intersect with any of these broad research interests.


Archive: Previous Sherman Lectures