Michael A.  Rosenthal



Grafstein Chair in Jewish Philosophy


St. George,

Email Address:


  • BA, Stanford University
  • MA  (Philosophy), University of Chicago
  • PhD (Philosophy), University of Chicago

Michael A. Rosenthal holds the Grafstein Chair in Jewish Philosophy, with appointments in both the Department of Philosophy and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. Prior to joining the department, he was professor of Philosophy and Jewish Studies at the University of Washington at Seattle. He teaches and publishes in the areas of early modern philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, and Jewish philosophy. His research focuses on the work of Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza. He also has interests in the work of other Jewish rationalists, such as Maimonides, Moses Mendelssohn, and Hermann Cohen. He is currently writing and publishing on several themes: 1) Spinoza’s political republicanism in the Theological-Political Treatise; 2) Spinoza’s theory of the imagination in the Ethics and other writings; 3) the reception of Spinoza’s arguments on religious toleration and church-state relations by subsequent Jewish thinkers across different times and places; and 4) philosophical interpretations of prophecy, especially among German-Jewish thinkers from the eighteenth through the twentieth century. He was recently a Fellow at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, a Fellow at the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, and a Fellow at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies at Hamburg University. In 2017 he was invited to give the Martin Buber Lecture in Intellectual History and Philosophy in Frankfurt. He is the recipient of a SSHRC Insight Grant for an ongoing project on “Spinoza’s Arguments for Religious Toleration and the Problem of Jewish Modernity.” He also currently coordinates activities for the History of Early Modern Philosophy and Jewish Philosophy Research Groups. 

For recent publications, see his entry on the department’s Faculty Bookshelf site.

Research Interests:

Early Modern Philosophy, Jewish Philosophy, Political Philosophy, Spinoza


Jackman Humanities Building (room 517), 170 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5R 2M8