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Civic Justice: From Greek Antiquity to the Modern World
     

Civic Justice: From Greek Antiquity to the Modern World

by Peter Murphy
 

This imaginative and original study traces the journey of an idea—the distinctively civic idea of justice—from its origins in the ancient Greek polis and Roman civitas, through its various transformations in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, to its adaptation by the American Republic and the modern world. Peter Murphy systematically explores the meaning

Overview

This imaginative and original study traces the journey of an idea—the distinctively civic idea of justice—from its origins in the ancient Greek polis and Roman civitas, through its various transformations in Medieval and Renaissance Europe, to its adaptation by the American Republic and the modern world. Peter Murphy systematically explores the meaning of civic justice in its philosophical, art-historical, architectural, sociological, and political dimensions. He also looks at its dramatic encounters with other concepts of justice, both traditional (patrimonial) and modern (liberal).

Particular attention is paid to the way these conflicts express themselves in the texture of urban life. Murphy addresses fundamental questions about the use and abuse of space in city architecture, the quality of urban life, and the interplay of such notions as reason and authority, freedom and limits, and modernity and antiquity in relation to the idea of civic justice.

The book concludes with a sustained reflection on the legacy of the American Republic. Founded on a torturous compromise between antinomianism and the civic ideals of justice, America became the first great republic to disavow the city, a disavowal that has had enduring and tragic effects on its politics and social life ever since.

Murphy's superb synthesis is a provocative re-evaluation of the significance of humanism and the relevance of an enduring classical idea to contemporary life.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781573929516
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Murphy, Ph.D. (Wellington, New Zealand), Senior Lecturer in Communications at the Victoria University of Wellington, has been a visiting scholar at Ohio State University; has taught at the New School for Social Research and Baylor University, among other institutions; and is the co-editor of The Left in Search of a Center and Agon, Logos, Polis: The Greek Achievement and Its Aftermath.

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