Twelve Tribes under God. (Religion & Philosophy)

The Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2002 | Go to article overview

Twelve Tribes under God. (Religion & Philosophy)


"The Jewish Roots of Western Freedom" by Fania Oz-Salzberger, in Azure (Summer 2002), 22A Hatzfira St, Jerusalem, Israel.

Ask a political theorist to name the historical foundations of Western liberalism, and the reply will be predictable: the polis of Athens, the Roman Republic, the Magna Carta, etc. Few are likely to mention the Torah--the first five books of the Hebrew Bible--or the Talmud. Yet during the birth of liberalism in 17th-century Europe, intellectuals of all kinds found political inspiration in the Old Testament, and many used the Bible in surprisingly inventive and critical ways.

Oz-Salzberger, a historian at the University of Haifa in Israel, argues that many influential "Hebraist" thinkers of this crucial period recognized the Old Testament as a political document--in essence, as the Israelites' constitution. The English jurist John Selden, for example, argued that national sovereignty was derived from biblical concepts of fixed borders and the division of peoples. Selden helped destroy the last remnants of feudalism and pave the way for nation-states: "Total borders made total sovereignty, and fostered the modern system of international relations." Petrus Cunacus, another prominent Hebraist, found in the Bible "what Aristotle, Cicero, and the Stoics all lacked: a clear notion of social responsibility and communal justice." The godfather of liberalism himself, John Locke, was a noted Old Testament scholar who based his Two Treatises of Government in part on an interpretation of the Book of Genesis. Locke's famous commitment to the "pursuit of life, liberty, and property," Oz-Salzber ger asserts, was grounded in a theory of responsibility and charity drawn from the Bible. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Twelve Tribes under God. (Religion & Philosophy)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
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.”

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.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, 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." (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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.