The Law of God: The Philosophical History of an Idea

The Law of God: The Philosophical History of an Idea

by Remi Brague
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0226070794

ISBN-13: 9780226070797

Pub. Date: 10/01/2008

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

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, Rémi Brague goes back three thousand years to trace this idea

Overview

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, Rémi 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 today’s discussions about the role of God in worldly affairs.
          
Brague masterfully describes the differing conceptions of divine law in Judaic, Islamic, and Christian traditions and illuminates these ideas with a wide range of philosophical, political, and religious sources. In conclusion, he addresses 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 with The Wisdom of the World—re-engages readers in a millennia-long intellectual tradition, ultimately arriving at a better comprehension of our own modernity.

 
“Brague’s sense of intellectual adventure is what makes his work genuinely exciting to read. The Law of God offers a challenge that anyone concerned with today’s religious struggles ought to take up.”—Adam Kirsch, New York Sun
 

“Scholars and students of contemporary world events, to the extent that these may be viewed as a clash of rival fundamentalisms, will have much to gain from Brague’s study. Ideally, in that case, the book seems to be both an obvious primer and launching pad for further scholarship.”—Times Higher Education Supplement 

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226070797
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,192,631
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contents Preface....................vii
Translator's Note....................xi
Introduction....................1
PART I ORIGINS....................9
1 Prehistory....................11
2 The Greek Idea of Divine Law....................19
3 Historical Conditions of Alliance....................30
PART II THE DIVINE LAW....................39
4 The State and the Law: Ancient Israel....................41
5 The Legislation of the Sacred Books....................61
PART III SUCCESSION THROUGH TIME....................83
6 Mother Religions and Daughter Religions....................85
7 The Law as Enforced....................101
PART IV LAW AND CITIES IN THE MIDDLE AGES....................121
8 Judaism: A Law without a State....................123
9 Christianity: A Conflict of Laws....................127
10 Islam: Law Rules....................146
PART V DIVINE LAW IN MEDIEVAL THOUGHT....................157
11 The Aims of the Law: Islam....................159
12 The Law as an End: Judaism....................187
13 The End of the Law: Christianity....................209
PART VI SANS FOI NI LOI: NEITHER FAITH NOR LAW?....................229
14 The Modern Age: Destruction of the Idea of Divine Law....................231
15 Judaism and Islam in the Modern Age....................249
Conclusion....................256
Notes....................265
Selected Bibliography....................321
Index....................355

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