Junior Professor Dr. Ze'ev Strauss - Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Preisträger 2024

Jewish Studies, University of Hamburg

How did the late medieval scholar Meister Eckhart arrive at his bold theological and philosophical ideas? And how was the philosopher Hegel inspired to develop an idealistic system at the beginning of the 19th century? 

These are the kinds of questions Jewish studies scholar Ze’ev Strauss looks into as he examines the relationships and interlinking of intellectual history between Jewish and Christian traditions. In doing so, he reveals fresh insights into unfamiliar and overlooked aspects, and in particular into relationships between texts that have previously gone unnoticed. It was Ibn Gabirol, an Andalusian Jewish philosopher, who helped Meister Eckhart explore Christianity from its speculative side, for example; and it was the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria (* around 15/10 BC) who had a profound influence on Hegelian philosophy. Strauss’ research contributes to a new historical contextualisation of the debate surrounding the equality of Jewish people and the development of modern antisemitism.