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To Kill and Take Possession: Law, Morality, and Society in Biblical Stories
The stories in the Bible present some of the most memorable approaches to justice ever described. In his fascinating book, To Kill and Take Possession, legal scholar Daniel Friedmann presents an innovative exploration of the legal, moral, and political aspects of some of the best-known and dramatic biblical tales.From God's judgment on Adam and Eve, to...
The stories in the Bible present some of the most memorable approaches to justice ever described. In his fascinating book, To Kill and Take Possession, legal scholar Daniel Friedmann presents an innovative exploration of the legal, moral, and political aspects of some of the best-known and dramatic biblical tales.From God's judgment on Adam and Eve, to David and Goliath's "Trial by Combat," to the issues of matrimony, adultery, and polygamy raised in the story of Abraham and Sarah, Friedmann presents compelling insights on a wide range of themes in biblical stories. The many issues he addresses include the transfer of trials from divine power to human beings; the status of women; marriage and divorce; maternity disputes; sterility and surrogate motherhood; mixed marriages; human sacrifice and the belief in its efficacy; the power and position of the monarchy and the succession to the throne; and the transformation in the role of the prophets.Many of Friedmann's analyses include enlightening "Postscripts" and are accompanied by analogies to literary sources and to Greek and other mythologies, as well as subsequent historical events and current practices. In some cases he links biblical approaches to law to momentous judgments from the past fifty years, such as a legal dispute over ownership of Adolf Eichmann's diaries, and a 1968 trial in Israel that raised centuries-old issues of religious and political identity through the complex question of "Who is a Jew?"A bestseller in Israel, now translated into English, To Kill and Take Possession reveals how ancient attitudes have had continuing relevance throughout history and up to the present--perhaps more than ever in today's litigious society.
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