University of Kent
Jody Ellant and Howard Reiter Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Sovereignty and Law: On Political Theology and the Jewish Legal Tradition


John Ackerman is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Kent Law School in Canterbury, England. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University and held fellowships in Potsdam and Dresden, Germany prior to coming to Kent. He works in the areas of political and legal theory and the history of political thought, with a particular focus on modern German and German-Jewish thought. While at the Katz Center, he will be completing a book that reads Hannah Arendt’s political thought through the lens of Weimar German debates over political theology, in conversation and confrontation with thinkers from Franz Rosenzweig and Gershom Scholem to Hegel and Carl Schmitt, and he will be pursuing a follow-up project that uses this investigation as the starting point for a reconsideration of the relevance of Jewish legal thinking to contemporary legal and political theory.



Asking if and how Jewish history, culture, and experience offered new paradigms with which to engage the politicaland, conversely, how mainstream political theories might expand Jewish studies in new and productive directions.