Book

God, Justice, and Society

Jonathan Burnside

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199759217
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199827084 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759217.001.0001
God, Justice, and Society

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Biblical law has long been seen as the foundational text of Western legal civilization. But what is the real meaning of the lex talionis and what, really, are the Ten Commandments? This book looks at aspects of law and legality in the Bible, from the patriarchal narratives in the Hebrew Bible through to the trials of Jesus in the New Testament. The book questions the biblical texts from the perspective of an academic lawyer and criminologist, and explores the nature of biblical law, legal thinking, and legal institutions by setting the biblical texts in their literary, social, and theological context. The book sets out the basic theoretical legal propositions on which biblical law rests, including the character of biblical law, covenant, natural law, and ideas of justice. It also explores a number of substantive subject areas including the environment and use of land; social welfare, homicide, vengeance, and theft; marriage and divorce; sexual offences; and the trials of Jesus. The book concludes by considering the ways in which biblical law encourages the development of larger perspectives on law and legal institutions. It sees biblical law as an integration of different instructional genres of the Bible (including wisdom literature) which together expresses a vision of society ultimately answerable to God.

Keywords: Bible; biblical law; covenant; God; lex talionis; justice; natural law; Ten Commandments; wisdom

Book.  576 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public International Law

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Table of Contents

The Character of Biblical Law in God, Justice, and Society

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A Deal With God in God, Justice, and Society

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Beyond Sinai in God, Justice, and Society

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Justice As A Calling in God, Justice, and Society

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Humanity and the Environment in God, Justice, and Society

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People And Land in God, Justice, and Society

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Social Welfare in God, Justice, and Society

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Homicide And Vengeance in God, Justice, and Society

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Theft And Burglary in God, Justice, and Society

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Marriage And Divorce in God, Justice, and Society

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