Politics in the Hebrew Bible

Politics in the Hebrew Bible : God, Man, and Government

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In Politics in the Hebrew Bible: God, Man, and Government, Kalman J. Kaplan and Matthew B. Schwartz offer a genre-straddling examination of the political themes in the Jewish Bible. By studying the political implications of 42 biblical stories (organized into the categories Social Order, Government and Leadership, Domestic Relations, Societal Relations, Morale and Mission, and Foreign Policy), the authors seek to discern a cohesive political viewpoint embodied by the Jewish Bible.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 218 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 20.32mm | 453.59g
  • Jason Aronson Inc. Publishers
  • Northvale NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0765709856
  • 9780765709851
  • 1,403,036

About Matthew B. Schwartz

Both Kalman J. Kaplan and Matthew B. Schwartz have published extensively in the field of Judaica. Currently, Matthew Schwartz teaches History at Wayne State University and Kal Kaplan is a Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.show more

Review quote

Schwartz and Kaplan succeed brilliantly in arguing, in a cogent and readable style, that the often conflicting mentalities regarding man's relationship with his fellow man and with God, found within the bible, do indeed add up to a coherent richly con-textured ethic of engagement with the real world. They further strengthen their position when they extend their scholarly exegesis to contrast, case by case, this biblical tradition with the more abstract, often impersonal, legal formulations emerging from the ancient Near East, from the Greeks and the Romans, as well as from their successor traditions in the modern world. This book is an essential read for those interested in how the bible stakes out an independent enduring ethical and legal tradition that undergirds the ethos of individualism in the modern world. -- Thomas H. Jobe, University of Illinois at Chicago There seems to be wide-spread disillusionment with political leadership in today's world. People keep looking back to the past with nostalgia, invoking the names of some of the great leaders in recent and not so recent history. The authors of this book help us clarify our thinking about today's politics by guiding us through the stories and teachings of biblical leaders from Abraham and Moses to David and Solomon and the great prophets. They discuss biblical thought regarding the worth of every person, the role of society vis-a-vis its members, the attributes of the leader, war and peace, and the moral foundation of the God-centered biblical community. They make a compelling case for great American leaders like Washington and Lincoln and of social justice having their roots in the biblical tradition rather than in the other pillar of Western civilization, namely, the Greco-Roman polity and philosophy. -- Mordecai Schreiber, author of Hearing the Voice of God: In Search of Prophecy A fascinating and hugely original exploration of the Hebrew bible as a comprehensive political codex addressing all spheres of public life, from the election of rulers and their desirable qualities, to the relationship between state and church, to political and foreign policy goals. A must read for anyone interested in understanding the full meaning of the Judaic-Christian legacy. -- Efraim Karsh, King's College London & Bar-Ilan Universityshow more

Table of contents

Preface Part I: Introduction Chapter 1: Three Organizing Principles Part II: Biblical Stories and their Implications for Political Life Chapter 2: Individuation/Differentiation versus Uniformity/Conformity Chapter 3: Organic Morality versus Abstract Equilibrium Chapter 4: Hope versus Fear Regarding the Future Part III: Conclusions Appendix A: Chronology for the Biblical Era Glossary Works Cited About the Authorsshow more