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God, Justice, and Society


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Table of Contents

Contents Contents Acknowledgements How to use this book Timeline Introduction: The horizon of biblical law Chapter One: The Character of Biblical Law Chapter Two: A Deal With God Chapter Three: Beyond Sinai Chapter Four: Justice as a Calling Chapter Five: Humanity and the Environment Chapter Six: People and Land Chapter Seven: Social Welfare Chapter Eight: Homicide and Vengeance Chapter Nine: Theft Chapter Ten: Marriage and Divorce Chapter Eleven: Sexual Offences Chapter Twelve: New Laws for a New Age Chapter Thirteen: The Trials of Jesus Conclusion: Law in the purpose of God Bibliography

About the Author

Jonathan Burnside is Reader in Biblical Law at the School of Law, University of Bristol, England. He has degrees in Law and Criminology, both from the University of Cambridge, as well as a doctorate in Law from the University of Liverpool. His work explores the relationship between law, theology and criminology from theoretical and applied perspectives, beginning with Relational Justice: Repairing the Breach (1994, Waterside Press). He joined the School of Law in 2001, becoming Reader in 2007. His doctoral thesis in biblical law was published as The Signs of Sin: Seriousness of Offence in Biblical Law (2003). He was appointed by the Home Office and the Prison Service England and Wales to head an evaluation of faith-based units in prisons in England and Wales, which was subsequently published as part of a wider, cross-programmatic, study of faith-based units in prisons around the world (My Brother's Keeper: Faith-Based Units in Prisons, 2005).


"A real tour de force in the area of biblical law. Legal historians, as well as biblical scholars, will remain in the author's debt for years to come as this book sets the mark for excellence in this field." - Prof. Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., Colman M. Mockler Emeritus Professor of Biblical Law and Old Testament, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary "God, Justice, and Society is an ambitious work that brings to the study of biblical law a rich, sensitive understanding of the cultural, linguistic, and theological landscape in which biblical law was developed. The result is a work of such depth and insight that it will be at the center of academic discussion for decades to come." - Rev. Prof. Dale. S. Kuehne, Department of Politics, Saint Anselm College "In comparing biblical and modern English approaches to a range of legal subjects, Burnside draws on the former to challenge the latter. He succeeds in making a convincing case for the contemporary relevance of the study of biblical law. This is a book which deserves to inform and provoke legal, sociological and theological debate." - Sir Roger Toulson, Lord Justice of Appeal, The Court of Appeal, Her Majesty's Courts Service "This is a first-rate vade mecum for students of law wishing to relate modern legal concepts to biblical legal principles. A series of areas of central, contemporary importance are discussed from a biblical perspective in substantial chapters rich in detail and explanation, in which the supralegal function of biblical law as 'wisdom' and as visionary in what it holds out to humanity emerges most clearly. Lawyers are used to handling heavy tomes; this sizeable introduction and its challenge to legal positivism should command a wide and appreciative readership." - Robert P. Gordon, Regius Professor of Hebrew, University of Cambridge "God, Justice and Society comes as a timely challenge for us to rethink the whole purpose of law in society." - Prof. Carver T. Yu, President, China Graduate School of Theology

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