Reading Genesis Politically: An Introduction to Mosaic Political Philosophy

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002 - 152 páginas

Sicker asserts that the Mosaic canon, the Pentateuch, is first and foremost a library of essentially political teachings and documents, and that the first eleven chapters of the book of Genesis set forth in essence a general Mosaic political philosophy. These writings take a unique mythopoeic approach to the construction of a normative political theory intended to undergird the idea of a mutual covenant between God and the people of Israel that is to be realized in history in the creation of the ideal society. It is with the elaboration of the political ideas reflected in these early chapters of Genesis that this book is concerned.

For the modern reader, the biblical texts should be understood as postulating some basic ideas of Mosaic moral and political philosophy that, in Sicker's view, continue to be applicable in contemporary times. First, man is endowed with free will, however constrained by circumstances it may be, and with the intellect to govern and direct it in appropriate paths. Accordingly, he is individually responsible for his actions and must be held accountable for them. Second, man has a necessary relation to God whether he wishes it or not. Prudence alone will therefore dictate that compliance with divine precept is in man's best interest. Third, the notion that man can create a moral society without reference to God is a deceptive illusion. Man's ability to rationalize even his most outrageous behavior clearly indicates the need for an unimpeachable source and standard of moral authority. Fourth, until all men accept the preceding principles, the idea of a universal state is both dangerous and counterproductive. In the 20th century, we have witnessed two different attempts to create such a world state, both of which produced totalitarian monstrosities. Fifth, individualism as a social philosophy tends to be destructive of traditional values and must be tempered by the idea of communal responsibility. A survey of particular interest to scholars, researchers, and students interested in Jewish history, political thought, and the Old Testament.

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Contenido

The Myth of the Primal Sin
25
Cain and Abel
43
The Generation of the Flood
63
The Deluge
81
Beginning Anew
101
The Tower of Babel
119
Another Beginning
139
Index 151
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Pasajes populares

Página 53 - And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother's keeper?
Página 39 - And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil : and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
Página 95 - In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.
Página 90 - And of every living thing of all flesh two of every sort shalt thou bring into the ark to keep them alive with thee ; they shall be male and female.
Página 113 - And surely your blood of your lives will I require: at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. 6 Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Página 109 - And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake ; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth ; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
Página 41 - So he drove out the man ; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.
Página 31 - And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
Página 93 - For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.

Acerca del autor (2002)

MARTIN SICKER is a private consultant and lecturer who has taught political science at the American University and George Washington University. He is the author of 19 previous books, including The Judaic State: A Study in Rabbinic Political Theory and The Genesis of the State (Praeger, 1988 and 1991 respectively).

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