Abstract

The article discusses the ways in which eighteenth-century European writers treated the biblical account of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and the massacre of its inhabitants. The legitimacy of Canaanite extermination was one of the most controversial historical-theological questions in the Enlightenment’s Republic of Letters, as English Deists and other anti-clerical writers protested against the immorality of the extermination commandment. Conservative Bible scholars of the German historical-critical school, who attempted to defend the morality of the Bible, were forced to devise novel legal and theoretical tools in order to justify the conquest of the land by modern reasoning.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 437-461
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-23
Open Access
No
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