Fellow of the College
Brian Klug, former associate professor of philosophy and current fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Xavier University, is senior research fellow in philosophy at St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford, a member of the philosophy faculty at the University of Oxford, and hon. fellow of the Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations at the University of Southampton.
- Senior Research Fellow in Philosophy, St. Benet’s Hall, Oxford
- Member, faculty of philosophy, University of Oxford
- Honorary Fellow, Parkes Institute for the Study of Jewish/non-Jewish Relations, University of Southampton,
- Fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences, Saint Xavier University, Chicago
- Visiting Scholar, International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding, University of South Australia, Adelaide (2012)
My work lies mainly at the intersection between academic philosophy and certain social and political controversies concerning religion, race and pluralism in the contemporary world. I try to adapt appropriate philosophical methods and approaches and bring them to bear on such thorny issues as antisemitism, Islamophobia and multiculturalism. These are all issues that are fraught with conceptual confusion calling for both logical and rhetorical analysis. I broach these issues in two contexts: Europe and the Middle East, specifically the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These two interests are reflected in my involvement in two projects sponsored by the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, a leading Austrian think tank based in Vienna. One project is ‘The Vienna Conversations’, which is tackling “the missing sense of ‘togetherness’ among Europe’s citizens and manifold communities”. The other is ‘Jewish Engagement with the Arab Question’, which is one half of an initiative (the other half is ‘Arab Engagement with the Jewish Question’) that seeks to bring a group of Jews and Arabs into engagement with each other’s experience, history, needs and perspectives.
Separately (but not unconnected to this work), I pursue questions in Jewish philosophy and in philosophy of religion and culture more generally, drawing especially on the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Projects and Work in Progress
Together with Dr Jayne Svenungsson (Stockholm School of Theology), I am organising a one-day international symposium, “Justice, Hope and Redemption: Jewish Perspectives”, sponsored by St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, 2 December 2014. The six speakers are from France, Sweden and the UK. Two publishers have expressed a tentative interest in publishing a volume of essays based on the symposium, which Dr Svenungsson and I would co-edit.
Other work planned or in the pipeline:
- I am in the process of developing my recent paper “Ludwig Wittgenstein, William James and the Language of Religious Experience” into an essay for a multi-authored volume of theology to be published in 2015 or 2016 by an academic press.
- I have an essay on Moses due to be published in another multi-authored volume in 2015.
- At the 2011 annual conference of the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia in Adelaide I gave a keynote speech, which I am revising as an essay for ReOrient, journal of critical Muslim studies, due to be published in Spring 2015.
- The Journal of Modern Jewish Studies have commissioned me to write a review of the book Eliezer Schweid: The Responsibility of Jewish Philosophy by Hava Tirosh-Samuelson and Aaron Hughes, due June 2015.
- I have been invited by the Research Institute for Philosophical Foundations of Disciplines, Ankara, to give a paper at a conference in 2015 on Karl Popper.
- In February 2015 I shall give an invited lecture at the Central European University, Budapest, on “Placing Time: The Concept of Diaspora in a Jewish Context”. I shall give an earlier version of this paper at the conference in Oxford in December (see above) and a revised version at the conference “Old World, New World: Jews in Transit”, University of Cape Town, 14-16 April 2015. These papers are stages on the way towards writing and publishing an essay on the topic of Diaspora, which I envisage as part of a larger work on Judaism and Jewish identity.
- Looking further ahead, I have a working manuscript on the practice of philosophy, which I hope in time to complete. (This is a development from my doctoral thesis “After Wittgenstein: Writing on the Verge of Philosophy”)
Publications Since 2010
- Being Jewish and Doing Justice: Bringing Argument to Life (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 2011)
Chapters in Books
- ‘Interrogating “New anti-Semitism”’ in Nasar Meer (ed), Racialization and Religion: Race, Culture and Difference in the Study of Antisemitism and Islamophobia (London: Routledge, 2014)
- ‘Was es bedeutet zu sagen, Israel habe ein Existenzrecht’, in Sophia Deeg and Hermann Dierkes (eds.), Bedingungslos für Israel? Positionen und Aktionen jenselts deutscher Befindlichkeiten (Cologne: Neuer ISP, 2010)
- ‘Eine jüdische Herangehensweise an die Menschenrechte und Israel/Palästina’, in Sophia Deeg and Hermann Dierkes (eds.), Bedingungslos für Israel? Positionen und Aktionen jenselts deutscher Befindlichkeiten (Cologne: Neuer ISP, 2010)
Contributions to Pamphlets
- ‘What is Antisemitism? Reflections in the Shadow of the Holocaust’, in The Legacy of Hope – Resistance, Yesterday and Today, London: UCU (University and College Union), 2010
Articles and Essays
- ‘The Limits of Analogy: Comparing Islamophobia and Antisemitism’, Patterns of Prejudice, vol 48, no 5, December 2014
- ‘Islamophobia and Antisemitism: Do We Need the Words?’, Public Spirit (University of Bristol), August 2014
- ‘Complex and Contentious’ (contribution to a symposium ‘Anti-Semitism: Where does it come from and why does it persist?), Moment, vol 19, no 2, March/April 2014
- ‘Anti-Semitism and the Jewish Future in Europe’, Reviews and Critical Commentary (Council for European Studies, Columbia University, NY), December 2013
- ‘Interrogating “New anti-Semitism”’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol 36, no 3, March 2013
- ▪ ‘Islamophobia: A Concept Comes of Age’, Ethnicities, vol 12, no 5, October 2012
- ‘A Higher Road to Peace: the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and the Battle for Judaism’, Peace and Change, vol 36, no 4, October 2011
- ‘Rule of the Word versus Rule of the Image’, AJS Perspectives (Association for Jewish Studies), Fall 2011
- ‘Ancient Texts with a Modern Twist’, Review of David Biale, Not in the Heavens: The Tradition of Jewish Secular Thought, in Jewish Socialist, no 62, Summer 2011
- ‘A People Apart?’, Jewish Quarterly, Spring 2011
- ‘Das Klima der Debatte über Israel in der jüdischen Welt’, Junge Kirche, January 2010
Presentations in 2013-14
- ‘The Logic of an Illusion’, international conference on ‘The Roots of Prejudice: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis’, FreudMuseum, London, 15 November
- ‘A Jew among Catholics’, Mosaic, Oxford, 29 October
- ‘Tricks of Language: Naming Bigotry against Muslims and Jews’, conference on ‘Critical Philosophy of Race: Here and Now’, University of London, 5 June
- ‘Wittgenstein on Religion and Culture’, Research Institute for Philosophical Foundations of Disciplines, Ankara, 24 May
- ‘Bigotry and Political Debate: Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict’, Department of Philosophy and The Middle Eastern Studies Programme, SaintXavierUniversity, Chicago, 9 April
- ‘Moses: The Significant Other’, Department of Philosophy, SaintXavierUniversity, Chicago, 11 April
- ‘Ludwig Wittgenstein, William James and the Language of Religious Experience’, conference on ‘Interpreting Experience – Experiencing Interpretation’, St Benet’s Hall, Oxford, 3-6 April
- ‘Generating the Enemy Within’, 3rd roundtable on ‘Jewish Engagement with the Arab Question’, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, 6-9 February
- ‘Similarities and Differences between Racialised Constructions of Jews and Muslims: A Philosophical Perspective’, conference on ‘Anti-Jewish and Anti-Muslim Racisms and the Question of Palestine/Israel’, LSE, 17 December
- ‘Being Jewish and Doing Justice’, keynote lecture, Jom Ijun (Day of Learning), Zurich, 24 November
- ‘What Do We Mean when We Say “Antisemitism”?’, public lecture to mark the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Jewish Museum, Berlin, 8 November
- ‘Grammar from Heaven: The Language of Revelation in Light of Wittgenstein’, Oxford Seminar in Advanced Jewish Studies, 12 June
- ‘Dealing with Difference: Jews. Muslims and the British Left Today’, conference on ‘The Future of Religious Pluralism in Europe’, Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut, Essen, 17-18 May
- ‘Dealing with Difference: Jews. Muslims and the British Left Today’, in the 2013 lecture series ‘Jews and Muslims: British Perspectives’, European Leo Baeck Institute, London, 16 May
- ‘Tricks of Memory’, 2nd roundtable on ‘Jewish Engagement with the Arab Question’, Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue, 18-21 April