Join Northwestern University Professor Regina Mara Schwartz for a discussion and booksigning as she introduces us to her new book, Loving Justice, Living Shakespeare. This event is free and open to the public.
Loving Justice, Living Shakespeare asks why love is considered a 'soft' subject, fit for the arts and religion perhaps, but unfit for boardrooms, parliamentary and congressional debates, law schools and courtrooms, all of whom are engaged in the 'serious' discourse of justice, including questions of distribution, questions of contract, and questions of retribution. Love is separate, out of order in the decidedly rational public sphere of justice. But for all of this separation of love and justice, it turns out that in the biblical tradition, no such distinction is even imaginable. The biblical law is summed up as loving the neighbour - this is further elaborated as loving the stranger, loving the widow, the orphan, and the poor - those who lack a protecting community. Analysis of these foundational 'love commands' shows that in them, love means apprehending and responding to the needs of others. This is both love and justice. Prevailing political concepts of justice are incomplete for they are premised on a belief in scarcity: limited supply (of goods, opportunities, even forgiveness) suggests they must be meted out in fair measure.
Regina Schwartz is the author of numerous books on literature and religion, including Remembering and Repeating: On Milton's Poetics and Theology (U of Chicago Press), The Curse of Cain: The Violent Legacy of Monotheism (U of Chicago Press), and Sacramental Poetics at the Dawn of Secularism: When God Left the World (Stanford University Press). She has given lectures at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Cambridge University, where she has been a Visiting Fellow, UC Santa Barbara where she was the Distinguished Visiting Tipton Fellow of Religious Studies, and she is a professor of Literature and Religion at Northwestern University as well as teaching in the Law School. She is also a Winnetka resident.
In thinking about Justice, we ignore Love to our peril.