Avi Lifschitz

About Avi

Avi Lifschitz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute.


Avi Lifschitz is Associate Professor of History at the University of Oxford, where he is Fellow of Magdalen College and Academic Programme Director of the Voltaire Foundation. Having recently edited the first modern English edition of a wide range of Frederick II’s writings (Princeton UP, 2021), he is now working on a monograph on the monarch as philosopher and public author.

Other areas of current research are the interrelations between Christian and Jewish intellectuals and 18th-century discussions of the borderline between man and animal. A recent essay on the latter topic has won the James L. Clifford Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 

Avi has published widely on 18th-century European intellectual history, including Enlightenment Epicureanism, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s thought as well as its reception, and the impact of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing’s seminal treatise Laocoon. The Laocoon project emerged from a workshop at Göttingen’s Lichtenberg-Kolleg, predecessor of the Moritz Stern Institute.

For further information see Avi’s Oxford faculty webpage and those of the Voltaire Foundation and the Oxford Centre for Intellectual History.



Cord-Friedrich Berghahn, Avi Lifschitz, Conrad Wiedemann (eds.), Jüdische und christliche Intellektuelle in Berlin um 1800 (Hannover: Wehrhahn, 2021)

Frederick the Great’s Philosophical Writings, ed. Avi Lifschitz, tr. Angela Scholar (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2021)

Avi Lifschitz, ‘Philosophy and Political Agency in the Writings of Frederick II of Prussia, The Historical Journal 64.3 (2021), 533-556.

Avi Lifschitz, ‘The Book of Job and the Sex Life of Elephants: The Limits of Evidential Credibility in Eighteenth-Century Natural History and Biblical Criticism’, Journal of Modern History 91.4 (2019), 739 – 775.