Judaism and Democracy: Encounters, Obstacles, Possibilities

What is the relationship between Jewish tradition, on the one hand, and modern conceptions of democracy, on the other? Our approach will be to consider this question from multiple directions, avoiding oversimplifications while probing the varied ways an ancient tradition engages with a modern moral and political ideal. We will consider issues including the Bible's relationship with monarchy, whether Rabbinic tradition offers models for democratic thinking, how medieval Jewish philosophers thought about the ideal relationship between religion and state, and how religious Zionist leaders struggled with modern democratic ideals.