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August 27 , 2007

War and Peace in Jewish Tradition

From the Biblical World to the Present


The transition between the reality of war and a hope for peace has accompanied the Jewish people since biblical times. However, the ways in which both concepts are understood have changed many times over the ages, and both have different implications for an independent nation in its own land than they do for a community of exiles living as a minority in foreign countries.

This book explores the concepts of war and peace throughout the history of Judaism. Combining three branches of learning - classical Jewish sources, from the Bible to modern times; related academic disciplines of Jewish studies, humanities, social and political sciences; and public discussion of these issues on political, military, ideological and moral levels - contributors from Israel and the USA open new vistas of investigation for the future as well as an awareness of the past. Chapters touch on personal and collective morality in warfare, survival though a long and often violent history, and creation of some of the world’s great cultural assets, in literature, philosophy and religion, as well as in the fields of community life and social autonomy.

An important addition to the current literature on Jewish thought and philosophy, this book will be of considerable interest to scholars working in the areas of Jewish Studies, theology, modern politics, the Middle East and biblical studies.

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