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Martha Minow: When Law Should Forgive: On the Limitations of Teshuva



This series is sponsored by Mira and Daniel Stokar, and this episode is sponsored by our friends at Shikey Press, a boutique publisher of Jewish content disrupting the traditional model of book publishing.

In this episode of the 18Forty Podcast, we talk to Martha Minow, a legal scholar and a professor at Harvard Law School, about forgiveness, law, and the boundaries of teshuva. In a world of ubiquitous transgression, our desire for justice and healing feels perpetually unsatisfied. Why is reconciliation seemingly so hard to get right? In this episode we discuss:
  • How is doing teshuva different from confessing in court?
  • What is the role of reparations in reconciliation?
  • Why is forgiveness such an important part of human culture?

Tune in to hear a conversation about why teshuva transcends our systems of justice.

Interview begins at 17:13.

Martha Minow is a legal scholar and professor at Harvard Law School, where she has taught since 1981. Martha serves as the 12th dean of Harvard Law School, was a candidate mentioned to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens upon his retirement, and has served as chair of the MacArthur Foundation. Martha clerked for Judge David Bazelon of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the Supreme Court of the United States, and is the author of many articles and books on matters of civil procedure, constitutional law, and human and religious rights.


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