Aryeh Botwinick received his Ph.D. from the Inter-Disciplinary Program in Political Philosophy at Princeton University in 1973. He teaches regularly within the Department upper-class electives and graduate courses in the philosophical foundations of religion and medieval Jewish philosophy.

He received the College of Liberal Arts Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2008 and a Senior Fellowship to the Maimonides Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Hamburg in 2017.

Since the publication of his book,  Skepticism , Belief, and the Modern:  Maimonides to Nietzsche (Cornell University Press, 1997), he has been working to reconfigure and rearticulate the relationship between Western monotheism and Western secularism.  He has tried to highlight a continuity of logical structure between key interpretations of monotheism and key readings of philosophical liberalism. The projects that he is currently working on as continuations of the earlier work are:

  • Contra Fundamentalism:  Negative Theology, Skepticism, and the Infinite
  • The Community of the Question:  Negative Theology in Monotheistic Thought
  • Rabbinic Theology:  Its Metaphysical Presuppositions and Political Implications.
  • Theoretical Reconsiderations in the History of Western Political Thought
  • Moses Maimonides: Philosophy and Law
  • Chaim Volozhiner:  Negative Theology and Mysticism
  • Machiavelli:  Power and Assymetrical Warfare
  • Weak Messianism:  Religion and Secularism Theorized as a Unity

Curriculum Vitae

BotwinickCVAugust2021 (PDF)

Selected Publications



  • “The Good of Liberalism:  Weak Messianism,” will appear in German translation in the Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie in 2019.  
  • “Tzedek, Tzedek Tirdof:  The Theory and Practice of Justice in Normative Judaism,” will appear in Georges Tamer, editor, “Key Concepts in Interreligious Dialogue:  Justice” (Berlin/Boston:  Walter de Gruyter, 2018).
  • “Moses Maimonides and Immanuel Kant:  Negative Theology, Skepticism, and the Role of the Infinite,” an original article of mine composed in English was commissioned by the prestigious German philosophy journal, Deutsche Zeitschrift fuer Philosophie and appeared in German translation under their auspices in 2018.
  • The Good of Liberalism:  Weak Messianism” appears in Telos Fall 2017.
  • Same-Other Versus Friend-Enemy:  Levinas Contra Schmitt” appears in The Oxford Handbook of Carl Schmitt, edited by Jens Meierhenrich and Oliver Simons (Oxford University Press, December 2016).
  • Political Abuse of a Biblical Paradigm: The Case of the Akeidah appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of Telos (Number 124).
  • The Qu’ran as a Negative Theological Text: The Evidence of Sura II appears in the Spring 2007 issue of Telos.“Emmanuel Levinas’s Otherwise than Being:  Is an Ethics of Substitution a Jewish Ethics?” was published in Listening:  Journal of Religion and Culture in 2008.
  • “Philosophy, Skepticism, and Politics:  A Review-Essay of the Works of Michael Oakeshott” appeared in Political Theory, Volume 36, Number 3 (June 2008).
  • “Monotheism, Negative Theology, and Mysticism:  A Review Essay of ‘Maimonides’ Confrontation with Mysticism”  appeared in Philosophy East and West, Volume 58, Number 3 (July 2008).
  • “The Dialectic of Monotheism:  St. Paul’s ‘Letter to the Romans,’” appeared in the Summer 2008 issue of Telos (Number 143).
  • “Indeterminacy and Interpretation,” constitutes a chapter in a book edited by Jose V. Ciprut called, Indeterminacy:  The Mapped, the Navigable and the Uncharted (MIT Press, Fall, 2008).
  • “ Liberal  Democracy:  Interrogating the Premises and Inferences,” constitutes a chapter in a book edited by Jose V. Ciprut called, Democrtizations:  Comparisons, Confrontations, Contrasts (MIT Press, Fall, 2008).
  • “Peter Bachrach:  Liberal Democracy and Participation” appears in PS:  Political Science and Politics, January 2010.
  • “Levinas, Jewish Thought, and Postmodernity:  A Review-Essay of Michael Morgan, ‘Discovering Levinas,’”  appeared in the AJS Review , Volume XXXIV, Number 2, Fall, 2009.
  • “Shakespeare in Advance of Hobbes:  Pathways to the Modernization of the European Psyche as Charted in The Merchant of Venice” appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of Telos (Number 153).
  • My article, “God: Divine Transcendence” appears in The Cambridge History of Jewish Philosophy:  The Modern Era, ed. Martin Kavka, Zachary Braiterman, and David Novak (Cambridge University Press, 2012).
  • “Liberal Democracy, Negative Theory, and Circularity:  Plato and Rawls,” appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Telos (Number 161).



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