The Political Philosophy of Jeremiah: Theory, Elaboration, and Applications

Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick (1993)

The Biblical book of Jeremiah devotes much space to the treatment of what are clearly issues of political philosophy: the nature of justice, conflict and conflict resolution, sociological pressure on the individual, resistance to unjust order, the ideal society and the ideal world order, the epistemology of good and evil, the nature of peace, and the importance of the individual's search for truth. This dissertation is devoted to the elaboration of Jeremiah's political philosophy as it stands in the Bible, and as it can be applied to contemporary problems in different areas of political philosophy. ;Chapter I considers the problem posed by the absence of the Bible from the accepted canon of Western political thought. ;Chapter II presents the political philosophy of the Book of Jeremiah, with special emphasis on his theory of human perceptual and conceptual nature, and its relationship to Jeremiah's sociology. ;Chapter III considers the work of two contemporary sociologists of knowledge, Karl Mannheim and Thomas Kuhn, whose ideas bear a strong resemblance to those of Jeremiah. ;Chapter IV treats recent problems in epistemology, most notably the question of a fact-value dichotomy, in light of Jeremiah's theory of human perception and conception. ;Chapter V applies the Jeremiac theory of human nature to the problem of judicial interpretation of hard legal cases, as raised by Ronald Dworkin, Robert Cover, and others. ;Chapter VI applies the Jeremiac theory of the sociology of knowledge to explaining the causes of war, as addressed by Amitai Etzioni and others
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