Thou Shalt Not Kill: A Political and Theological Dialogue

Thou Shalt Not Kill: A Political and Theological Dialogue

Thou Shalt Not Kill: A Political and Theological Dialogue

Thou Shalt Not Kill: A Political and Theological Dialogue

Synopsis

In this fascinating and rare little book, a leading Italian feminist philosopher and the Archbishop of Milan face off over the contemporary meaning of the biblical commandment not to kill.
The result is a series of erudite and wide-ranging arguments that move from murder and suicide to just war and drone strikes, from bioethics and biopolitics to hermeneutics and philology, from Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer to Hannah Arendt and Michel Foucault, from Torah and Scripture to art and literature, from the essence of human dignity and the paradoxes of fratricide to engagements with Levinasian ethics.
Less a direct debate than a disputation in the classical sense, Thou Shalt Not Kill proves to be a searching meditation on one of the unstated moral premises shared by otherwise bitterly opposed political factions. It will stimulate the mind of the novice while also reminding more advanced readers of the necessity and desirability of thinking in the present.

Excerpt

Whosoever destroys one man is counted by Scripture
as though he had destroyed the whole world. This is
also true of Cain who killed Abel, his brother, as it is
written in the Scripture: The voice of thy brother’s blood
crieth unto Me
(Genesis 4.10). Though he may shed
the blood (dm) of only a single person, the text uses
the plural: dmym (“bloods”). This teaches us that the
blood of Abel’s children, and his children’s children,
and all the descendants destined to come forth from
him until the end of time— all of them stood crying
out before the Holy One, blessed be He. Thus thou
dost learn that one man’s life is equal to all the work
of creation.

This important affirmation, to which we could add others with similar and even more radical importance, would suffice to demonstrate the need to place the . . .

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