Hebrew Republic Paperback

Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought

by Eric Nelson;


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Hebrew Republic

Full Product Description

According to a commonplace narrative, the rise of modern political thought in the West resulted from secularization - the exclusion of religious arguments from political discourse. But in this pathbreaking work, Eric Nelson argues that this familiar story is wrong. Instead, he contends, political thought in early-modern Europe became less, not more, secular with time, and it was the Christian encounter with Hebrew sources that provoked this radical transformation. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Christian scholars began to regard the Hebrew Bible as a political constitution designed by God for the children of Israel. Newly available rabbinic materials became authoritative guides to the institutions and practices of the perfect republic. This thinking resulted in a sweeping reorientation of political commitments.In the book's central chapters, Nelson identifies three transformative claims introduced into European political theory by the Hebrew revival: the argument that republics are the only legitimate regimes; the idea that the state should coercively maintain an egalitarian distribution of property; and the belief that a godly republic would tolerate religious diversity. One major consequence of Nelson's work is that the revolutionary politics of John Milton, James Harrington, and Thomas Hobbes appear in a brand-new light. Nelson demonstrates that central features of modern political thought emerged from an attempt to emulate a constitution designed by God. This paradox, a reminder that while we may live in a secular age, we owe our politics to an age of religious fervor, in turn illuminates fault lines in contemporary political discourse.

Hebrew Republic by Eric Nelson was published by Harvard University Press in October 2011. The ISBN for Hebrew Republic is 9780674062139.

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Specifications

Details for Hebrew Republic

Page last updated 19th November 2016
Author / Artist
Book FormatPaperback
PublisherHarvard University Press (October 2011)
Weight272g
Number of Pages240
Thickness18 mm
Height235 mm
Width155 mm
ISBN9780674062139
ISBN-100674062132
Product Code3978770
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