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The relation between social science and religion is turned upside down. Religion is not simply the object of the social scientific gaze, but an equal discourse of social explanation and practice. I take Jewish spirituality as an example and show how it can work as social ideas and solutions to social problems.

“Tolerance” has been criticized for being too abstract, “pure” and that it needs to be contextualized in society. We start there, and suggest that the critics also have a limited understanding of the social.  We can use concepts from Jewish spirituality to extend the meaning of the social and to rethink tolerance.

Dr. Philip Wexler is Professor of Sociology of Education and Unterberg Chair of Jewish Social and Educational History (Emeritus) at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Executive Director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and Society.  He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Woodrow Wilson dissertation Fellow and his B.A. from Washington Square College at New York University.

Dr. Wexler focuses on Social Theory, the Sociology of  Education, the Sociology of Religion, Critical Theory and Jewish Spirituality (Hasidism).  He is the author numerous books on mystical sociology and spirituality.  His most current work is Jewish Spirituality and Social Transformation, and will be available soon.

This event is free and open to the public, however seating is limited and RESERVATIONS are strongly encouraged.

This event is co-sponsored by Rice University’s Religious Studies and Jewish Studies programs.