The Biblical ‘Nation’ as a Problem for Philosophy

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Abstract: The Hebraic political tradition is characterized by a number of features such as the rule of law, consent of the governed, and perhaps a separation of spheres of authority. Definitive of this tradition, however, is the simultaneous recognition of the legitimacy of the nation and of a common humanity. The Hebraic political tradition explicitly, albeit uneasily, incorporates two orientations: the particular and the universal. The implications of this heterogeneity for the affairs of this world constitute some of the Hebraic tradition’s primary contributions to political thought.

Biography: Steven Grosby is a professor of religion at Clemson University. He is the author of Biblical Ideas of Nationality (Eisenbrauns, 2002) and Nationalism—a Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2005). He is also editor of The Virtue of Civility (Liberty Fund, 1997) and The Calling of Education (Chicago, 1997); coeditor of the four-volume Nationality and Nationalism (I.B. Tauris, 2004); and editor and translator of Hans Freyer, Theory of Objective Mind (Ohio, 1999). His numerous articles have appeared in such journals as Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, History of Religions, Journal for the Social and Economic History of the Orient, European Journal of Sociology, and Nations and Nationalism.

Volume 1, Number 1 (Fall 2005)