Elliot Ratzman

Visiting Assistant Professor

Elliot Ratzman teaches courses on Judaism, race, philosophy of religion, religious ethics and social justice, and the modern religious experience. He was a Jewish Studies Fellow at Lawrence University, a scholar at Penn State’s Humanities Institute, and a visiting professor at Swarthmore College. His first book, “Between Precarity and Power: A Jewish Reckoning with Race” (in progress) addresses Jews and antiracism in the US, Israel/Palestine, and Europe since 1967. At Grinnell College, he will be teaching: “Racism, Antisemitism, and Religion,” “Protest and Piety: Religion & Contemporary Social Movements,” “Reading Martin Luther King: Intellectual Sources for the Civil Rights Movement,” and “Religion and Science.” Alongside of teaching, Ratzman has been involved with movements for global health equity, Middle East peace, and economic justice. He is the academic advisor for the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, serves on the editorial board for Religious Socialism, and was a contributing editor for Heeb Magazine.  

Education and Degrees

Ph.D. – Princeton University (Religion, Ethics, and Politics)

M.T.S. – Harvard Divinity School (Christianity and Culture)

B.A. – Ohio University (Philosophy)

Selected Publications

Select Articles and Chapters

“The Virtues of Keeping Kosher: Beyond Left Adaptions and Right Traditionalism” in Food and Judaism: A Companion. Edited by Aaron Gross, Jody Myers, Jordan Rosenblum. NYU Press, 2019

"The Tree of Life and the Roots of White Supremacy," The Lawrentian, Fall 2018. 

Between Communism and Kabbalah: The Theological-Political Prince,” in The Theology of Prince, Journal of Theology and Culture, United Theological Seminary, 2018-2019  

The Good Life in a Time of Refugees: A Response to Michael Walzer,” Religious Socialism, January 2016  

In Defense of Cornel WestGood Magazine, April 2015   

10 Commandments for the ClassroomInside Higher Education, February 2015  

Why Niebuhr Now? In Defense of Political MessianismPolitical Theology Network, September 2011  

Secular Faith, co-edited with Vincent Lloyd  Secular Faith, Cascade Books, (October 2010)  

Exodus and Agitation: Moses the OrganizerSecular Culture and Ideas, Jbooks.com, Spring 2008   

 “I Say Yo, You Say Oy: Blacks, Jews, and Love” in Debating Race with Michael Eric Dyson, Basic Books: 2007  

“Purity and Danger” in A Dream of Zion: American Jews Reflect on Why Israel Matters to Them, ed. by Rabbi Jeff Salkin, Jewish Lights Publications, 2007

“The Chosen Issue? Home Demolitions and the House of Israel” Koinonia, Spring 2005 

In the News

"Is it Ethical to Punch a Nazi? We asked the Experts" Jack Smith IV, Mic.com  November, 2016. https://www.mic.com/articles/160203/is-it-ethical-to-punch-a-neo-nazi-we-asked-the-experts 


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