Project: “Philosophy of Religion in Classical Rabbinic Theology”
Dr. Zuckier’s research project will bridge philosophy of religion and Jewish ancient and rabbinical writings. Over the course of this fellowship he will consider two related areas where rabbinic literature has a significant contribution to make to the philosophy of religion: divine will and atonement. He will present the rabbinic understanding of divine will that explains prayer as aligning the petitioner’s will to God, thereby shifting the relationship between the two parties. Regarding atonement, he will present an alternative to both the ransom theory and the moral exemplar theory, demonstrating – on the rabbinic view – the existence of a direct interaction between the atoning party and God.
Bio: Dr. Zuckier is a scholar of classical Judaism who also harbors philosophical and theological interests. After receiving a Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University in Religious Studies in 2020, he has served as the Flegg Postdoctoral Fellow in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies at McGill University. He previously studied for rabbinical ordination and post-ordination studies at Yeshiva University-RIETS. He has taught academic courses in normative ethics, Jewish thought, Hebrew Bible, and ancient Judaism at Yale, Yeshiva, and McGill University at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, he has edited two volumes on contemporary Jewish thought, founded The Lehrhaus, served as a campus rabbi, and taught Talmud and Jewish thought for Drisha Institute, Bnot Sinai, The Tikvah Fund, and various synagogues and university campuses.