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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)October 12, 2011

(MAHWAH, NJ) – Paul Mendes-Flohr, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago and Professor Emeritus of Jewish Thought in the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, will speak at Ramapo College of New Jersey in November under the auspices of the Asia Society, New York and the Gross Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of Ramapo College. The event will be held on Monday, November 7 at 7 p.m. in the Trustees Pavilion (Room 1).   

Mendes-Flohr will discuss “A Transnational Fascination: the Indian Nobel Prize Winning Writer Rabindranath Tagore in Discourse with Albert Einstein and Martin Buber.”

The Indian poet, writer, artist and thinker Rabindranath Tagore aroused interest in Europe and America in the early years of the twentieth century.  “Gitanjali” a selection of his poems for which Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913, was an overnight sensation.

For years, Tagore found popularity in many European countries, including Germany, where he visited for the first time in 1921.  In addition to popular public appearances that Tagore made, he met and corresponded with several German-Jewish luminaries of the time, including physicist Albert Einstein and thinker Martin Buber.  Professor Mendes-Flohr will shed light on transnational and humanistic character in unraveling their discourse.

The research and teaching interests of Mendes-Flohr, who is also an associate member of the University of Chicago’s Department of History, include modern Jewish intellectual history, modern Jewish philosophy and religious thought.  He is also interested in German Jewish philosophy and theology, the philosophy of religion, German intellectual history and the history and sociology of intellectuals.

He serves as co-editor-in-chief of the collected works of Martin Buber (in German) and recently authored “Jüdische Identität: Die zwei Seele der deutschen Juden” as well as a volume in Hebrew, “Progress and its Discontents.”  

Mendes-Flohr is currently completing a biography of Martin Buber, and another on Franz Rosenzweig as well as a third work, “Post-Traditional Jewish Identities” (the Samuel and Althea Stroum Lectures).  A volume of his essays on modern Jewish intellectual history will be published in Spanish. The third, “The Jew in the Modern World,” co-authored with Jehuda Reinharz, appeared in fall 2010. 

Professor Mendes-Flohr received his undergraduate training at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and holds a Ph. D. in History from Brandeis University.

Professor Mendes-Flohr’s talk, as well as another event held on Thursday, November 10 by Dr. Kathleen O’Connell on “Rabindranath Tagore; the Poet as Educator and Environmentalist,” will be held in conjunction with Rabindranath Tagore: The Last Harvest.

Comprised of Tangore’s artwork, it is on view at the Asia Society Museum through December 31, 2010. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Sivakumar of Visva Bharati University and is co-organized by the National Gallery of Modern Art, Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Asia Society Museum, New York.

The presentation, made possible through a grant from the Asia Society, is free and open to the public.  For more information or to reserve a seat, please call 201.684.7409.

For media inquiries, contact Anna Farneski, assistant vice president, Marketing and Communications, 201.684.6844.


Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.


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