Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Abbreviations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xxiv

...This book has been written as a particular reply to a more general question. The more general question is: How can anyone participate actively and intelligently in a democratic polity in good faith? But none of us is merely “anyone.” Each of us comes to actively and intelligently participate in his or her democratic polity...

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Chapter One: Formulating the Jewish Social Contract

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pp. 1-29

...To argue intelligently for the idea of the Jewish social contract today, one must situate the argument within current discussion of social contract theory in general. One must then take a stand on what an authentic social contract is and how sources for it can be activated from out of the Jewish tradition. The original justification of...

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Chapter Two: The Covenant

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pp. 30-64

...role in scriptural revelation, is a form of the social contract so frequently discussed by modern thinkers. When first glancing at biblical covenants from a modern perspective, one could very well take the institution of covenant to be a precursor of modern ideas of social contract formulated in the political theories of philosophers from Hobbes to Rawls (and, perhaps, even earlier). Even now...

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Chapter Three: The Covenant Reaffirmed

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pp. 65-90

...not, how has Israel experienced the covenantal obligation as spelled out in its acceptance of the Torah in general and in its specific commandments? Did Israel really accept the Torah or was the Torah, in effect, accepted for Israel without its full consent? Were...

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Chapter Four: The Law of the State

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pp. 91-123

...some degree of mutuality between the parties to the covenant, yet there is still no equality between the government and the governed; this will have to wait for the emergence of a social contract. Despite this lack of equality, though, this relationship between the Jews and the king of Babylon is also quite different from what...

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Chapter Five: Kingship and Secularity

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pp. 124-156

...In medieval Jewish speculation about the reason for the principle “the law of the state is law,” we see the most explicit presentation of the idea of the Jewish social contract. This comes out most clearly and effectively in the justification supplied for Samuel’s principle by the twelfth-century French exegete R. Samuel ben Meir (Rashbam). In his...

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Chapter Six: Modern Secularity

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pp. 157-187

...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...

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Chapter Seven: The Social Contract and Jewish-Christian Relations

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pp. 188-217

...theological inadequacies of Mendelssohn’s formulation of the idea of social contract, especially in its relation to the whole Jewish tradition. As for its philosophical inadequacies, we must also understand that the political situation of both the Jews and his own society at that time did not encourage the development of a...

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Chapter Eight: The Jewish Social Contract in Secular Public Policy

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pp. 218-238

...The idea of the Jewish social contract, as it has been formulated from within the Jewish tradition, has important public policy implications, especially for North American Jews living in the United States or Canada, countries in which the idea of a social contract...

Bibliography

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pp. 239-250

Index

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pp. 251-258

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About the Series, Other Works in the Series

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pp. 259-260

...New Forum Books makes available to general readers outstanding original interdisciplinary scholarship with a special focus on the juncture of culture, law, and politics. New Forum Books is guided by the conviction that law and politics not only reflect culture but help to shape it. Authors include leading political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, philosophers, theologians...