Leonard Levin is assistant professor of Jewish Philosophy at The Jewish Theological Seminary.
Levin’s scholarly interests are focused on constructive theology and
Jewish intellectual history of all periods. His first dissertation, Deriving a Theological Position From Mind-Body Interactionism (Brandeis,
1973), affirmed the reality of a spiritual dimension of the personal
self and of the cosmos. This was the basis for his current book nearing
completion: The Case for God—Affirmation Without Illusion: Answering Today's Atheists. His articles on constructive theology have also appeared in the journal Conservative Judaism:
“Affirming God as Creator” (Winter, 2002) and “To Break or Menda
World: Thoughts on Theodicy After the Tsunami” (Summer, 2005).
Levin has an interest in making standard Hebrew works of Jewish
intellectual history available in English. He assisted Gordon Tucker in
the translation and editing of Abraham Joshua Heschel's Hebrew
masterpiece work on rabbinic theology: Heavenly Torah as Refracted Through the Generations.
Dr. Levin has also translated several works of the contemporary Israeli
philosopher and scholar Eliezer Schweid (see below). Dr. Levin is
currently at work in translating Schweid’s five-volume work The History of Modern Jewish Religious Philosophy.
Dr. Levin’s teaching in Jewish philosophy
integrates the concerns of intellectual history and constructive
theology. In his view, we study the thinkers of the past for the light
they shed on eternal problems of human thought and existence, as well as
for the assistance they can offer by their example in our confronting
the challenges of integrating traditional wisdom with current knowledge
in our own time. His courses in Philo, Jewish Platonism, Maimonides,
sixteenth-century Jewish thought, modern Jewish thought, and problems in
the philosophy of religion all focus on this common perennial task.
Dr. Levin received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania (cum laude),
a PhD in History of Ideas from Brandeis University, and rabbinical
ordination and a PhD in Jewish Philosophy from The Jewish Theological