Law of God The Philosophical History of an Idea

ISBN-10: 0226070794
ISBN-13: 9780226070797
Edition: 2008
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Description: The law of God: these words conjure an image of Moses breaking the tablets at Mount Sinai, but the history of the alliance between law and divinity is so much longer, and its scope so much broader, than a single Judeo-Christian scene can possibly  More...

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Book details

Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.122
Language: English

The law of God: these words conjure an image of Moses breaking the tablets at Mount Sinai, but the history of the alliance between law and divinity is so much longer, and its scope so much broader, than a single Judeo-Christian scene can possibly suggest. In his stunningly ambitious new history, R'233;mi Brague goes back three thousand years to trace this idea of divine law in the West from prehistoric religions to modern times-giving new depth to today7;s discussions about the role of God in worldly affairs. Bringing to the work his characteristic brilliance and clarity of thought, Brague explains how divine law, which served in ancient Greece as a metaphor for natural law, was seen in ancient Israel as divine revelation. Later, in the Middle Ages, it took on new sacred meanings: within Judaism, it represented the sole presence of God among a people deprived of a temple and kingdom. For Islam, it served as direct dictation from God that came to rule all human practices. Christianity, meanwhile, conceived a relationship to God that went beyond legislation, turning away from the idea of revealed law and toward the Greek notion of law that was divinebecauseit was natural. Masterfully illuminating these ideas with a wide range of philosophical, political, and religious sources, Brague7;s history concludes by addressing the recent break in the alliance between law and divinity-when modern societies, far from connecting the two, started to think of law simply as the rule human community gives itself. Exploring what this disconnection means for the contemporary world, Brague-powerfully expanding on the project he began withThe Wisdom of the World-re-engages readers in a millennia-long intellectual tradition, ultimately arriving at a better comprehension of our own modernity.

Preface
Translator's Note
Introduction
Origins
Prehistory
The Greek Idea of Divine Law
Historical Conditions of Alliance
The Divine Law
The State and the Law: Ancient Israel
The Legislation of the Sacred Books
Succession Through Time
Mother Religions and Daughter Religions
The Law as Enforced
Law and Cities in the Middle Ages
Judaism: A Law without a State
Christianity: A Conflict of Laws
Islam: Law Rules
Divine Law in Medieval Thought
The Aims of the Law: Islam
The Law as an End: Judaism
The End of the Law: Christianity
Sans Foi Ni Loi: Neither Faith Nor Law?
The Modern Age: Destruction of the Idea of Divine Law
Judaism and Islam in the Modern Age
Conclusion
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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