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In the Whirlwind: God and Humanity in Conflict Hardcover – March 19, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Apparent First Edition edition (March 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674065662
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674065666
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,450,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The plot of the Hebrew Bible is a grail in the vault of a mountain fastness, and it may be that no assault will ever quite take it, if it is even there to be taken, but what a siege Robert Burt has mounted! The closest of readings, the subtlest and most seductive of midrashic inferences, the severest of ethical verdicts, all with the precision of a first-rate legal mind and the wrestling effrontery of Job. (Jack Miles, author of God: A Biography)

In this intriguing and moving book, Robert Burt reads the Bible as a tragic vision of the gap between perfect justice and what humans actually can achieve. Burt movingly unpacks the Biblical stories to argue that they show God and human beings constantly attempting to find their way to love and trust, through constant disappointments. (Suzanne Last Stone, Cardozo School of Law)

A work highly recommended not only for Bible students and political scientists but also for general readers who welcome new approaches to both sacred texts and contemporary political concerns and discourse. (Carolyn M. Craft Library Journal 2012-05-01)

Many of Burt's arguments are enlightening and theologically sophisticated...Burt uses the Bible as a prism through which to reassess the modern obsession with analyzing and defining legitimate political power...Burt's book is full of thought-provoking ideas and it goes to show that law professors can sometimes turn out to be accomplished and challenging biblical interpreters. (Jonathan Wright Catholic Herald 2012-08-10)

Burt's discussions provide many useful and challenging insights. He demonstrates the difficulty inherent in the relationship of authority between rulers and ruled, whether human or divine. (A. J. Waskey Choice 2012-11-01)

Burt's study of the interaction of divinity and humanity in establishing authority, divine and human alike, in the Bible is a closer literary reading of the entire Bible than most on offer from either divinity schools or literature departments. Yet his interest as a professor of law in contrasting the reciprocal establishment of mutually heteronomous authority in the Bible with the unilateral establishment of autonomous authority in modern political theory gives his work the forward thrust of a courtroom argument. The book of Job, in which the protagonist calls God's authority into explicit question, and then God, from the whirlwind, calls the protagonist's standing into question, becomes here the fulcrum of a study that brilliantly establishes this problematic as common to the Old and the New Testaments alike.
(Jack Miles Common Knowledge 2013-09-01)

About the Author

Robert A. Burt is Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law at Yale Law School.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Jody Dimmitt on April 1, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I understand the mindset of those involved with law. Some strike out for absolutes, 'lie' or 'truth' and others look for the middle a coming together with mutual agreement (a win-win scenario) some even still closer to the thought of 'come let us reason together' ending with amiacable understanding for one's way (or the others, if it won). A reading of The Constitution in Conflict I suspect that this man would love for equality across the board for everything and everyone rather than seeing that a Creator would never look for such an equality that demeans the one who did the creating. I found it sad that Dr Burt brought argument of doubt about the character of a God he really doesn't know. The book was a disappointment, I was naively hoping. I had thought this book would be more in line with Midrash commentary, but no this PhD has no clue. To think that maybe such an educated and excellent mind in law (think Judeo-Christian law) would have a stability in justice that yes, does look for people to come together and reason things out for each as God also said come and reason with him. However, this Almighty God expects one to realize, recognize that in coming to reason with him you would be acknowledging a wisdom and an understanding of who and what God is. God has no trouble with our asking questions, even debating his word with him (the Jewish sages have done such for a very long time and do yet still live), but this God brooks no one taking his glory nor anyone standing before him in pride or arrogance of thought thinking we mere created ones are smarter than God. This Creator made the heavens and the earths, created the angelic hosts and therein the Devil as well as mankind, for his almighty purpose (whether one likes that or not is not up for debate, theocracy has no such divide).Read more ›
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