About the Leo Strauss Center
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The Leo Strauss Center seeks to promote the serious study of Leo Strauss's thought primarily through the preservation and publication of the unpublished written and audio record that he left behind.
Leo Strauss is increasingly recognized as one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century. His research stimulated significant developments in the study of ancient and modern political philosophy, American political thought (especially the founding), classics, Jewish studies, and Islamic studies, among other fields. He is widely known for defending natural right, especially in its classical form, against the challenges of relativism and historicism, reopening the quarrel between the ancients and the moderns in political philosophy, emphasizing philosophy as a way of life, sharply criticizing value-free social science, stressing the centrality of the theological-political problem, and distinguishing between the exoteric and esoteric teachings of writers of the past. Strauss published penetrating interpretations of writings by a wide range of figures, poets as well as philosophers, going far beyond the conventional canon of figures studied in the field of Western political theory, including not only Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, Marsilius of Padua, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Nietzsche, Weber, and Carl Schmitt, but also the Bible, Aristophanes, Xenophon, Lucretius, Al-Farabi, Judah Halevi, Maimonides, Lessing, Moses Mendelssohn, Herman Cohen, and Heidegger. Scholars for generations to come will respond to his challenging interpretations of fundamental texts.
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The Leo Strauss Center will require substantial additional funding to accomplish its proposed projects and deeply appreciates contributions from friends and supporters. Read more.
Major support for the Leo Strauss Center is provided by the Winiarski Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.