SOCIAL VISION

THE LUBAVITCHER REBBE'S 

TRANSFORMATIVE PARADIGM 

FOR THE WORLD

A NEW BOOK BY

PHILIP WEXLER

WITH ELI RUBIN & MICHAEL WEXLER

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994), known to many simply as “the Rebbe,” was one of the most remarkable personalities of the 20th century. In 1994 he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of his “extraordinary life and work.” Despite the Rebbe’s fame as the inspiring leader of a global movement, Social Vision is the first book to seriously explore his  social ideas and activism, persuasively demonstrating that he was a keen social analyst whose ideas are as original as they are practical. Schneerson’s engagement with the American counterculture of the 1960s, his vocal and controversial championship of a cabinet-level Department of Education, his advocacy for criminal justice reform, and his ecological philosophy, all bear directly on current policy debates in the 21st century.

 

Social Vision is a breakthrough work of scholarship by Professor Philip Wexler, a leading sociologist and expert on education. Wexler distills Schneerson’s voluminous public teachings, letters, and private conversations to make his ideas accessible to the general reader, and demonstrates the enduring relevance of Schneerson’s teachings to the manifold crises of modern life, politics, and culture. Wexler delves deeply into the ways that religious ideas seminally shape society. Juxtaposed with what Max Weber called “the spirit of capitalism,” Schneerson’s Hasidic worldview is compellingly framed as a practical path that can help us create a better future for all humanity. Schneerson was not simply a religious figure, but also a great philosopher who boldly upended conventional polarizations between tradition and progress, religion and science, mysticism and society. Social Vision tells the story of how Schneerson not only channeled his ideas into a global Jewish renaissance in the aftermath of the Holocaust, but also articulated a universal vision whose influence continues to shape better policymaking for a better world.

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PRAISE FOR SOCIAL VISION

... a timeless message ...
an inspiration for
all people ... 

DAVID N. DINKINS,

106th Mayor of the

City of New York

... compelling ...
visionary ...
complex  ...

— ERICA BROWN,

Director, Mayberg Center
for Jewish Education
and Leadership, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, The George Washington University

... a remarkable study ... combining Hasidic
and sociological understanding of the well-being of the individual and the flourishing of society, Wexler expounds on the Rebbe’s social vision as inclusive, dynamic
and modern ...”

—BRYAN S. TURNER,

Presidential Professor and Director of the Committee
for the Study of Religion,
The Graduate Center, 
 City University of New York

“... a remarkably bold and challenging book ...
[it] will appeal to scholars of Jewish spirituality, and challenge sociologists

of religion and social movements with

its innovative
theoretical model ...”

— CATHERINE CASEY,

Professor of Organization

and Society, Loughborough University, UK

“ ... illuminates the Rebbe’s distinctive views on American society, the role of the individual and the community, the purpose of education, and much more ... a bracing introduction to the central ideas that shaped Chabad-Lubavitch in America ...”

— JONATHAN D. SARNA,

Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American
Jewish History,  Brandeis University, Author of American  Judaism: A History

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Philip Wexler is Executive Director of the Institute of Jewish Spirituality and Society, and emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he held the Unterberg Chair in Jewish Social and Educational History. He was formerly at the University of Rochester as the Scandling Professor of Education and Sociology, where he was also Founding Dean of the Warner Graduate School (1989-2000). He later served as Director of the School of Education at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2002-2010), Visiting Bronfman Professor at Brandeis University (2010-2012), and Professor of Social Pedagogy and Social Policy at the Bergische University, Wuppertal, Germany (2012-2014). He received his Ph.D. in Sociology and Anthropology from Princeton University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and Woodrow Wilson Dissertation Fellow. He has published eighteen books on sociology, education, postmodernism and religion.

Eli Rubin is an editor and research writer at Chabad.org, and a graduate research student in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. He has studied Hasidic literature and Jewish Law at the Rabbinical College of America, and at yeshivot in the UK, the US and Australia.

Michael Wexler is a Princeton University graduate with a degree in English Literature and a master’s of fine arts (MFA) in creative writing. He has published six books of both fiction and non-fiction, including the acclaimed young-adult fantasy series The Seems. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of writing at The University of Missouri-Kansas City and is the creator of projects for Fox, ABC, Microsoft, AFLAC, SiriusXM Radio, and more.

Social Vision: The Lubavitcher Rebbe's Transformative Paradigm for the World

Philip Wexler, Eli Rubin, Michael Wexler   |   Series: Jewish Spiritual Traditions and Contemporary Society

Hardcover, 300 pages  |  Herder & Herder (July 6, 2019)  |  English  |  ISBN-10: 0-8245-5038-2  |  ISBN-13: 978-0-8245-5038-7  |  6 x 9 inches