David Wright argues that the so-called Covenant Collection of the Torah (Exodus 20:23-23:19) is chiefly the work of a single author, is the result of intellectual interaction with the author's sources & it may have had a politically ideological purpose, somewhat similar to that of the Laws of Hammurabi.
Most scholars believe that the numerous similarities between the Covenant Code (Exodus 20:23-23:19) and Mesopotamian law collections, especially the Laws of Hammurabi, which date to around 1750 BCE, are due to oral tradition that extended from the second to the first millennium. This book offers a fundamentally new understanding of the Covenant Code, arguing that it depends directly and primarily upon the Laws of Hammurabi and that the use of this source text occurred during the Neo-Assyrian period, sometime between 740-640 BCE, when Mesopotamia exerted strong and continuous political and cultural influence over the kingdoms of Israel and Judah and a time when the Laws of Hammurabi were actively copied in Mesopotamia as a literary-canonical text. The study offers significant new evidence demonstrating that a model of literary dependence is the only viable explanation for the work. It further examines the compositional logic used in transforming the source text to produce the Covenant Code, thus providing a commentary to the biblical composition from the new theoretical perspective. This analysis shows that the Covenant Code is primarily a creative academic work rather than a repository of laws practiced by Israelites or Judeans over the course of their history. The Covenant Code, too, is an ideological work, which transformed a paradigmatic and prestigious legal text of Israel's and Judah's imperial overlords into a statement symbolically countering foreign hegemony. The study goes further to study the relationship of the Covenant Code to the narrative of the book of Exodus and explores how this may relate to the development of the Pentateuch as a whole.
"Carr and Conway have broken free from the typical introduction to the Bible by framing their readable prose around the key effect of empire(s) on the development of biblical traditions. While not ignoring fundamental issues such as authorship, genre, and dating, their unique approach tells a compelling story of crucial periods in canonical history. Helpful sidebars provide readers with key texts as well as comments on content and method, and every chapter is richly illustrated with pictures, photographs, and maps. The whole approach is oriented towards a pedagogy in which students are invited into the conversation through overviews, exercises and reflection questions for each chapter. Students will find this book intellectually engaging and a pleasure to read. Instructors will be pleased to have a creative textbook as a partner in their teaching." RICHARD S. ASCOUGH, Queen's University, Canada "As reliable as Carr and Conway are in their guidance to the Bible and to biblical scholarship, they are also not afraid to push at the cutting edge. Combine that fearlessness with a genuine concern for and knowledge of how students actually learn, and you've got a truly outstanding textbook." TOD LINAFELT, Georgetown University This groundbreaking introduction to the Bible explores its emergence and development in the context of world history. It particularly focuses on the role of a number of empires in the formation of the biblical canon. In addition to its comprehensive coverage, this book also integrates in an accessible way the most up-to-date work in the field. It traces the development of the Bible through its interaction with the empires of the time, from the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, and Hellenistic empires, through to the Roman dominion. Topics explored include the formation of the Pentateuch, the development of the earliest Old Testament stories, the historical study of the gospel traditions surrounding Jesus; the influence of Roman rule in the provinces where Paul spent much of his ministry; and the interpretation of the biblical texts and their use by different faith communities. Packed throughout with reader-friendly features including study questions, bibliographies, timelines, and illustrations and photos, this is a balanced and informed introduction.
The new book from Larry Siedentop, acclaimed author of Democracy in Europe, Inventing the Individual is a highly original rethinking of how our moral beliefs were formed and their impact on western society today 'Magisterial, timeless, beautifully written ... Siedentop has achieved something quite extraordinary. He has explained us to ourselves' Spectator This ambitious and stimulating book describes how a moral revolution in the first centuries AD - the discovery of human freedom and its universal potential - led to a social revolution in the west. The invention of a new, equal social role, the individual, gradually displaced the claims of family, tribe and caste as the basis of social organisation. Larry Siedentop asks us to rethink the evolution of the ideas on which modern societies and government are built, and argues that the core of what is now our system of beliefs emerged much earlier than we think. The roots of liberalism - belief in individual liberty, in the fundamental moral equality of individuals, that equality should be the basis of a legal system and that only a representative form of government is fitting for such a society - all these, Siedentop argues, were pioneered by Christian thinkers of the Middle Ages, who drew on the moral revolution carried out by the early church. It was the arguments of canon lawyers, theologians and philosophers from the eleventh to the fourteenth century, rather than the Renaissance, that laid the foundation for liberal democracy. There are large parts of the world where other beliefs flourish - fundamentalist Islam, which denies the equality of women and is often ambiguous about individual rights and representative institutions; quasi-capitalist China, where a form of utilitarianism enshrines state interests even at the expense of justice and liberty. Such beliefs may foster populist forms of democracy. But they are not liberal. In the face of these challenges, Siedentop urges that understanding the origins of our own liberal ideas is more than ever an important part of knowing who we are. LARRY SIEDENTOP was appointed to the first post in intellectual history ever established in Britain, at Sussex University in the 1970's. From there he moved to Oxford, becoming Faculty Lecturer in Political Thought and a Fellow of Keble College. His writings include a study of Tocqueville, an edition of Guizot's History of Civilization in Europe, and Democracy in Europe, which has been translated into a dozen languages. Siedentop was made CBE in 2004. PRAISE FOR THE BOOK 'One of the most stimulating books of political theory to have appeared in many years ... a refreshingly unorthodox account of the roots of modern liberalism in medieval Christian thinking' John Gray, Literary Review 'A brave, brilliant and beautifully written defence of the western tradition' Paul Lay, History Today 'An engrossing book of ideas ... illuminating, beautifully written and rigorously argued' Kenan Malik, Independent 'A most impressive work of philosophical history' Robert Skidelsky
"Common wisdom concerning Luther and Calvin suggests that these two theologians do not relate the testimony of Christ to the conscience in the same way. Zachman undertakes the comparison of their theologies, especially the ways in which Luther and Calvin define and describe the conscience and relate this to the testimonies of the Word and the Spirit. While remaining critical of the distinction that both Luther and Calvin sought to maintain between the foundation of assurance and its confirmation in faith and election, Zachman concludes that although Luther and Calvin have different emphases in their theological treatment of the conscience, they fundamentally agree: the foundation of the peace, assurance, and certainty of conscience lies in the grace of God for us, as revealed to the conscience both by the external witness of the Word of God and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit."--BOOK JACKET.
This new volume will give readers a complete history of the development of relativistic cosmology in the first half of the twentieth century. It traces the beginnings of the theory in 1917 with Einstein's first static model of the universe based on general relativity, and follows his conversion to the new cosmology after a series of controversial meetings with Dutch astronomer Willem De Sitter. The impact of these discussions on Eddington and Weyl, who later formulated the most fundamental principle of cosmology is examined, while the works of Friedmann and Lema tre, pioneers of the expanding universe theory, are covered in-depth. This valuable history will also provide insights on how and why the relativistic way of thinking contributes to some of the most enduring philosophical issues of our time.
The book contains a description of the phenomenon of religion as a personal experience, socio-cultural fact, and ontic relations between the human person and God. The second part is a presentation of contemporary interpretations of religion which, although they do not explain all religious phenomena, nonetheless have sociological and psychological bases. The most significant part concerns the ontic foundations of religion, namely, the existential situation of the human being who can recognize himself and who recognizes at the same time his finitness and transcendence. Special at tention is given to the role of religion in culture, specifically in regard to science, morality and art. The book also contains an analysis of many different methodological approaches to the philosophy of religion.