Leo Strauss: Between Athens and Jerusalem

Steven B. Smith, "Leo Strauss: Between Athens and Jerusalem," The Review of Politics, Vol. 53, No. 1 (Winter 1991).


Harold Bloom, the Yale literary critic, once described Leo Strauss as “political philosopher and Hebraic sage.”‘ This always seemed to me unusually prescient. For Strauss is most frequently under- stood as an interpreter and critic of a number of thinkers, both ancient and modern, who belong to the history of political philosophy. But far less often is he regarded as a contributor to Jewish thought. It is neither as a historian nor as a philosopher but as a Jew that I want to consider him here.