In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Josephus, Theocracy, and Devaluing Freedom, Nehemia Gordon speaks with Dr. Michael Kochin, an Israeli professor of Political Science at Tel Aviv University, about how to live a Torah-life when ruled by pagans. They look at the 1st Century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius who coined the term "theocracy" to describe the rule of Judea by a council of self-appointed Priests and Pharisees. After the Roman conquest, Josephus struggled with the collision of Jewish Torah values with Greek Philosophy that "deliberately and explicitly sets out to devalue freedom". Josephus ultimately argued that it was still possible to live by the Torah despite the tyranny of Roman rule. Looking forward to reading your comments!
"For God is King of all the earth…” Psalms 47:8
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Michael S. Kochin is a political science professor at Tel Aviv University. and has held visiting appointments at Toronto, Princeton, and Yale. He is the author of “Five Chapters on Rhetoric: Character, Action, Things, Nothing, and Art, Gender” and “Rhetoric in Plato's Political Thought”, which won the Outstanding Academic Book award in 2003, and has written many academic articles. Dr. Kochin holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Harvard University, a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Political Science from the University of Chicago.
The article discussed in this episode is Education After Freedom. Dr. Kochin's other articles include Empire and Freedom in Josephus. Dr. Kochin has also written two books “Five Chapters on Rhetoric: Character, Action, Things, Nothing, and Art” and “Gender and Rhetoric in Plato's Political Thought”.
References in Josephus
- Antiquities of the Jews — Book XIV [Chapter 3:paragraph 2]
- Antiquities of the Jews—Book VIII [Chapter 3:6]