Political Liberalism and Religious Zionism: Tentative alliance

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the relevance of political liberalism, as
articulated by John Rawls, to Israeli society. Being essentially political—and not
philosophical—these principles, according to Rawls, may gain the support of groups
who embrace different philosophical doctrines. Can religious groups really embrace
political liberalism without forfeiting their religious doctrines? I address this question in
relation to the political and theological writings of Yeshayahu Leibowitz, who is defined
as ‘the last Orthodox (Jewish – Israeli) theologian within the framework of the liberal
thought’. I argue that Leibowitz’s political/theological writings are compatible with political liberalism. However, I also argue that the articulation of such principles in Israeli
society is not feasible, not only because most religious groups do not accept them but
also because non-religious groups view them as incompatible with their national
Original languageEnglish GB
Pages (from-to)313-340
Number of pages28
JournalCulture and Religion
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2007


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