Michael Oppenheim

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Dr. Oppenheim’s research and publications have predominantly been in modern Jewish philosophy, but also include the areas of Comparative Philosophy of Religion, Psychology of Religion, and Feminism. He recently published Encounters of Consequence: Jewish Philosophy in the Twentieth Century and Beyond (Academic Studies Press, 2009), which provides an introduction and deeper analysis of the situation of Jewish philosophy in the last century and beyond.It charts Jewish philosophy’s engagement with modernity and post-modernity along two overlapping axes — issues and persons — which often intersect. Key issues in modern Jewish philosophy are raised, including: the nature of Judaism and Jewish identity, the quests for meaning and continuity, the value of remaining a Jew, the relevance of Jewish law, as well as the challenges of secularism, modern history (including the Holocaust), and feminism and religious pluralism. Earlier, he published the book Jewish Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Narrating the Interhuman (Lexington Books, 2006), that examines the correlation between modern Jewish philosophical narratives of the inter-human and contemporary models of the self and others offered by psychoanalytic theorists. The Jewish thinkers are those philosophers of dialogue, Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber and Emmanuel Levinas, known for their detailed views about the ways that others bring the self to fruition. The post-Freudian psychoanalysts include Erikson, Klein, Winnicott and Fairbairn, who turned away from Freud’s more isolated view of the self. The next step in this dialogue between Jewish philosophy and post-Freudian psychoanalysis will explore late twentieth century psychoanalysts including Hans Loewald, Stephen Mitchell, and Jessica Benjamin.

Selected publications

Encounters of Consequence: Jewish Philosophy in the Twentieth Century and Beyond. New York: Academic Studies Press, 2010.

Chapters in books and articles in journals

Langue, Parole et Chanson”: On Language as Song in Psychoanalysis and Jewish Philosophy,” Pastoral Psychology, Vol. 62:4, (2013), pp. 403-421.

“Comparative Philosophy of Religion and Modern Jewish Philosophy: A Conversation.” After Appropriation: Intercultural Explorations in Philosophy and Religion.   Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2010.

“Between Halle and Jerusalem.” Emil L. Fackenheim: Philosopher, Theologian, Jew. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill, 2008, 25-41.

“Loving the Neighbor: Some Reflections On Narcissism.”Modern Judaism 27:1 (2007), 47-71.

“Feminist Jewish Philosophy: A Response.” Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Woman’s Studies and Gender Issues. Fall, No. 14 (5768/2007), 209-232.