MemberRebecca J. Epstein-Levi

…My current book project, tentatively titled When We Collide: Sex, Sociality, and Jewish Ethics uses classical rabbinic texts, as well as theoretical resources from virtue ethics and crip theory, to think about the moral implications of treating sex as one risk-laden social relation among and embedded in many. Through case studies of the management of sexually transmitted infections and of organized BDSM communities, put in dialogue with rabbinic texts that deal with the management of ritual impurity and the danger…

I am a practical ethicist who  examines questions of sexual, biomedical, and environmental ethics    through a Jewish lens. My dissertation  used Mishnaic ritual purity discourse as  a model for a Jewish ethics of sex and  public health. My current project, which expands upon many of the core themes in my dissertation, examines the moral and textual implications of treating sex as one species of social interaction among many. I’ve also written about the ethics of genetically engineered crops,  the tensions between autonomy and community in Jewish and feminist thought, the duty to vaccinate, and the ways practical ethicists deploy classical rabbinic texts. I teach courses among many of these same lines. I have taught or am in the process of developing courses on Jewish sexual ethics, Jewish bodies and bioethics, purity in the Abrahamic traditions, argumentation in Jewish traditions, and comparative religious environmental ethics, as well as introductions to Judaism and to religious studies. I make a concerted effort to diversify my syllabi in all these areas, with substantial representation from scholars who are women, LGBTQIA+, people of color, disabled, or otherwise marginalized. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in Jewish Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Previously, I was a visiting instructor in Religion and Jewish Studies at Oberlin College. I received my Ph.D from the University of Virginia in 2017. In my copious free time, I enjoy drawing and painting (the header image is my own work), horseback riding, cooking overly complicated meals, and sharpening my ever-growing collection of kitchen knives. I live with my wife, Sarah, and my cat, Faintly Macabre.

MemberGeoffrey Claussen

…Wealth and Poverty in Jewish Tradition, ed. Leonard J. Greenspoon (Purdue University Press, 2015), 151-184.
“A Jewish Perspective on War, Scripture, and Moral Accounting.” Journal of Scriptural Reasoning, vol. 14, no. 1 (2015): 1-15. (Also reprinted in Virtue Ethics, ed. Tom Angier [Routledge, 2018], 2:169-185.)
“Pinhas, the Quest for Purity, and the Dangers of Tikkun Olam.” In Tikkun Olam: Judaism, Humanism & Transcendence, ed. David Birnbaum and Martin S. Cohen (New Paradigm Matrix Publishing, 2…

MemberPeter Critchley

I am an intellectual range rider whose research activity embraces a diversity of materials drawn from philosophy, history, political economy, urban studies and social and political ecology. At the heart of my work is a concept of ‘rational freedom.’ This concept holds that freedom is a condition of the appropriate arrangement of the cognitive, affective, interpersonal and intrapersonal dimensions of human life, incorporating essential human attributes from instinct to reason. Defining politics in the ancient sense of creative self-realisation, I affirm a socio-relational and ethical conception of freedom in which individual liberty depends upon and is constituted by the quality of relations with other individuals. I therefore stresses the intertwining of ethics and politics within a conception of the good life. My work is concerned to establish the nature, causes, and conditions of human flourishing. I return philosophy to its key question of what it is to live well as a human being and what it takes for human beings to live well together.

MemberSteven Schroeder

One strand of my research addresses the paradox with which Luther begins “The Freedom of a Christian”: perfectly free, perfectly bound. This has led me to examine ethical and political dimensions of freedom and work — and, less directly, to “presence” and “place.” A second strand of research attends closely to the work of poetry (and the work of art more generally). A third strand grows out of a fascination with the central place of fragments in the invention of “the West,” which, it seems to me, has often taken the form of putting fragments in their place and filling in gaps. I am interested in minding the gaps.

MemberMelissa Hudler

I am an assistant professor in the Department of English and Modern Languages and the Honors College at Lamar University, where I teach a variety of courses, including Freshman Composition, British Literature, Ethics and Literature, and Health Humanities. I have also held two administrative positions (Writing Center Director and Director of Lamar’s Quality Enhancement Plan) and am active in Lamar University’s faculty development program. Since 2014, I have served on the Editorial Board for Survive and Thrive: A Journal of Narrative as Medicine.