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In God's Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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Walzer offers a penetrating account of the Hebrew strand in its many ramifications, with all the insight and sense of nuance that distinguish him as a political theorist."—Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age and Dilemmas and Connections
From the Author
A Conversation with Michael Walzer
Q: Why did you write this book?
A: I think about politics all the time when I read, and I've been reading the Bible all my life. So why should this book be different from any other book? There is a politics in the Bible, and sometimes an anti-politics, and the stories and arguments are gripping. They cry out for our engagement.
Q: What did you find most surprising in the Bible?
A: The many voices, the radical pluralism of the Bible, which is really an anthology, a book of books. The last editors would never have called themselves pluralists or articulated a doctrine of pluralism, but they were remarkably inclusive. They brought together radically contradictory views, without seeking to harmonize the contradictions.
Q: So, is there a biblical political doctrine, a single teaching, a lesson to be learned?
A: No. Biblical fundamentalists will have a hard time finding the foundations. There is a biblical doctrine about religion and one about justice, but there is radical disagreement among the Bible's authors about politics. Some are actively hostile: when God is king, what need is there for human politics?
Praise for Michael Walzer’s Arguing about War:
“Walzer has moved the concerns over just war from the periphery of political theory to the very center of our democratic dilemma.”—Garry Wills, New York Review of Books
Praise for Michael Walzer’s On Toleration:
"The genius of Walzer's little book . . . is how realistic it is about the contradictions confronting those who would create an open society."—E. J. Dionne, Jr., Washington Post
Top Customer Reviews
Walzer is writing in an age where religion is being re-introduced to the fields of politics and international relations. Authors such as Jonathan Fox and Shmuel Sandler are pushing for religion's front-line recognition. Douglas Johnston's strategy of interfaith dialogue is influencing foreign affairs. Esteemed editors, Raymond Cohen and Raymond Westbrook use the Biblical era to study the theoretical branches of international relations.
Admittedly, Walzer mentions that his topic is influenced by, but notably veers away from other Biblical political studies like that of Aaron Wildavsky. The increased hype around finding political solidarity in religious engagement, keeping in mind the Biblical approaches in recent and distant works, demand that any reader of "In God's Shadow" not be confused or distraught by Walzer's very critical, at times revisionist, approach.
The main question addressed in Walzer's study is not 'how' we learn from the examples of Biblical politics but in truth are there 'any' intended political endorsements to be noted at all?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Though I have only read 3 chapters, it has taught me a lot. It is well-written and engaging reading. When I finish it, I can review whether I should rate it higher. Read morePublished on January 18, 2013 by NBrockmeier
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope it finds favor with a wide range of people.
It's clear that toleration and/or pluralism are hardly a part of 2nd temple Judaism. Read more