What makes a people a people? What forms its communal identity? The second book of the Bible, Exodus, tells of the departure of the children of Israel from Egypt, their journey through the wilderness, the giving of the law at Mount Sinai, the building of the tabernacle, and much else. Exodus and its abiding mysteries have been studied for millennia as a source for wisdom and understanding about theological questions as well as human affairs.  Joining us to discuss Exodus is Dr. Leon Kass, emeritus professor at the University of Chicago and emeritus scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Kass has just published the new book Founding God’s Nation: Reading Exodus, a monumental work in which he considers Exodus in a philosophical spirit, and shares striking insights on its theology, anthropology, and especially its politics. In this Conversation, he reflects on what he has learned through his study of Exodus—and argues that, regardless of our religious affiliation or beliefs, Exodus has much to teach those who read it with an open mind.

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