The Jewish Social Contract: An Essay in Political Theology

By David Novak | Go to book overview

Chapter Six
Modern Secularity

The Dawn of Modernity

Abravanel’s enthusiasm for republican government, within his overall treatment of Jewish ideas of polity, added another important dimension to Jewish social contract theory that had been developing within Jewish communal existence in Christian Spain from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century. To be sure, the Jewish political relationship with a Christian polity in Spain, which was the historical context of Sephardic political theology from Nahmanides to Abravanel, ended with the expulsion of the Jews in 1492. (With the expulsion of the last Muslims in Spain along with the Jews, the type of multicultural society in which a social contract can truly operate ended in Spain.) Nevertheless, the Sephardic refugees of that expulsion were involved in a remarkably similar relationship with another Christian polity, this time Protestant rather than Catholic, and in the Netherlands rather in Iberia, a century or so after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 and from Portugal in 1497. This next relationship was one between the Jews, as a separate nation with considerable internal autonomy and authority, and the larger Dutch Christian host nation. And in fact, this relationship continued until the Netherlands became enough of a modern secular society to offer the Jews, indeed require them to become individual citizens of the state like everyone else.1

It would have been interesting, perhaps historically significant, if a theologian of Abravanel’s ability had emerged in that community, who could have worked out the further implications of the essentially contractual relationship of the Jewish community with the larger host nation that, until the beginning of the end of a respected Jewish existence in Christian Spain (around 1391), had been the epitome of how well Jewish communal life could generally operate within an officially Christian polity. However, this did not happen. Perhaps this was so since, by the seventeenth century, the status of Christendom and that of the Jews in the world were beginning to change radically. The modern secular nation-state was already on

1 See Encyclopedia Judaica, 12:980–82.

-157-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Jewish Social Contract: An Essay in Political Theology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter One - Formulating the Jewish Social Contract 1
  • Chapter Two - The Covenant 30
  • Chapter Three - The Covenant Reaffirmed 65
  • Chapter Four - The Law of the State 91
  • Chapter Five - Kingship and Secularity 124
  • Chapter Six - Modern Secularity 157
  • Chapter Seven - The Social Contract and Jewish-Christian Relations 188
  • Chapter Eight - The Jewish Social Contract in Secular Public Policy 218
  • Bibliography 239
  • Index 251
  • New Forum Books 259
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 260

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.