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The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture


  • Date Published: October 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521176675

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About the Authors
  • What if the Hebrew Bible wasn't meant to be read as 'revelation'? What if it's not really about miracles or the afterlife – but about how to lead our lives in this world? The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture proposes a new framework for reading the Bible. It shows how biblical authors used narrative and prophetic oratory to advance universal arguments about ethics, political philosophy and metaphysics. It offers bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic poetry, transforming forever our understanding of what the stories of Abel, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and David and the speeches of Isaiah and Jeremiah, were meant to teach. The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture assumes no belief in God or other religious commitment. It assumes no previous background in Bible. It is free of disciplinary jargon. Open the door to a book you never knew existed. You'll never read the Bible the same way again.

    • Offers a new framework for reading the Bible
    • Provides a series of bold new studies of biblical narratives and prophetic orations
    • An interdisciplinary work accessible to philosophers, political theorists, intellectual historians, Bible scholars, theologians and educated readers of all backgrounds
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of Hazony's splendid work. This bold attempt to distil the intellectual essence of biblical wisdom deserves the widest possible audience and the most careful attention, regardless of religious denomination or lack of it, from philosophers.' Standpoint Magazine

    'Not only is The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture a must for philosophy scholars, but also for every thinking Jew who wants to understand and appreciate the Torah from an intellectual perspective. Written in an accessible style, it casts new light on biblical characters and narrative, encouraging us to use our minds to understand its psychological and philosophical complexity.' Doreen Wachmann, Jewish Telegraph

    'As an approach to the Old Testament as philosophy, worthy to be placed alongside any 'reasoned' later work it is something of a masterpiece.' Church Times

    'First, Hazony's work is an important contribution to understanding the dynamic of the biblical story of Cain and Abel. Second, Hazony's argument is important for understanding not just Genesis 4 but as a radical critique of the general understanding of the entire Hebrew Bible.' Steven D. Ealy, Books and Culture

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521176675
    • length: 394 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 155 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: beyond reason and revelation
    Part I: Reading Hebrew Scripture:
    2. The structure of the Hebrew Bible
    3. What is the purpose of the Hebrew Bible?
    4. How does the Bible make arguments of a general nature?
    Part II: The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture: Five Studies:
    5. The ethics of a shepherd
    6. The history of Israel, Genesis-Kings: a political philosophy
    7. Jeremiah and the problem of knowing
    8. Truth and being in Hebrew scripture
    9. Jerusalem and Carthage
    Part III: Conclusion:
    10. God's speech after reason and revelation.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • A panoramic view of the Middle East
    • Bible and its environment
    • Biblical Judaism: Texts and Thought
    • Biblical Perspectives
    • Comparative Religion
    • Contemporary Jewish Thought
    • Foundations of Jewish Thought
    • Great Living Religions: Judaism and Islam
    • Hebrew Bible
    • Hebrew Prophets
    • Hebrew Scriptures
    • History of the Jewish People I
    • Intro the Hebrew Bible
    • Intro to the Bible
    • Introduction to Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
    • Introduction to Judaism/ Ethics and Theology of the Rabbis
    • Introduction to the TANAKH
    • Lit. of the Hebrew Bible
    • Modern Jewish Literature
    • Modern Religious Thought
    • OT Survey
    • Old Testament 301 (Genesis-1 Samuel)
    • Old Testament Religion
    • Pentateuch
    • Prophetic Literature
    • Prophets and Visionaries
    • Religious Foundations and the Bible
    • Seminar in Biblical Literature
    • Senior Theological Research Project
    • Survey of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
    • The Hebrew Bible
    • The Old Testament
    • The Rabbis' Bible
    • Topics in Philosophy of Value
  • Author

    Yoram Hazony, Shalem Center, Jerusalem
    Yoram Hazony is Provost of the Shalem Center in Jerusalem and a Senior Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, Political Theory and Religion (PPR). Hazony's previous books include The Jewish State: The Struggle for Israel's Soul and The Dawn: Political Teachings of the Book of Esther. His essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Commentary, Azure and Ha'aretz, among other publications. He is author of a regular blog on philosophy, Judaism, Israel and higher education called Jerusalem Letters. Hazony received a BA from Princeton University in East Asian Studies and a PhD from Rutgers University in Political Theory.

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