Burton Visotzky

Burton Visotzky

Burton L. Visotzky, born in Chicago, Illinois, 1951, is a Conservative Rabbi and professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary who also studied moral development at Harvard University under Lawrence Kohlberg.

He later applied the moral reasoning and ethical relationship approach pioneered by Kohlberg and Carol Gilligan to Ethics in the Bible in his book "The Genesis of Ethics", 1997. This explored a modern incarnation of the Jewish theological traditions of midrash, and built on Visotzky's experience leading seminars in Manhattan with a mixed group of students, businessmen and professionals of various religious backgrounds.

Visotzky serves as the Appleman Professor of Midrash and Interreligious Studies at New York's Jewish Theological Seminary. He has been visiting faculty at Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, and the Russian State University of the Humanities; as well as Union Theological Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Hebrew Union College. In Spring, 2007, he served as Master Visiting Professor of Jewish Studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

In addition to "The Genesis of Ethics", he is the author of the popular books: "Reading the Book: Making the Bible a Timeless Text", "The Road to Redemption: Lessons from Exodus on Leadership and Community". He has also authored scholarly works such as "The Midrash on Proverbs" (Yale), "Midrash Mishle" (Hebrew), "Fathers of the World: Essays on Rabbinic and Patristic Literatures", and "Golden Bells and Pomegranates: Essays on Midrash Leviticus Rabbah". He co-edited with David Fishman the textbook "From Mesopotamia to Modernity: Ten Introductions to Jewish History and Literature". His first novel, "A Delightful Compendium of Consolation", which was published by Ben Yehuda Press in March, 2008, brings together Rabbinic Aggadah, the daily life of the medieval Mediterranean revealed by the Cairo Geniza discoveries, and the tales of the Arabian Nights.Visotzky served as collaborator and on-screen participant in Bill Moyers' ten-hour series, "Genesis: A Living Conversation" (PBS, 1996). He also served as a principal consultant for DreamWorks 1998 film, "Prince of Egypt." He is active as a lecturer and scholar-in-residence in North America and Europe. Visotzky also is involved in Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue in America, Europe, and the Middle East.

See also: list of ethicists

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