Faculty Publications: God and Humanity in Conflict

April 12, 2012

In a recent book, Professor Robert Burt, who has written extensively on biomedical ethics and constitutional law, turns his attention to political theory in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. Professor Burt's In the Whirlwind: God and Humanity in Conflict examines the authority of God as expressed in the accounts of Adam and Eve, Noah, Cain, Abraham, Moses, Job, and Jesus. 

Burt finds that throughout these narratives there are persistent accusations of betrayal and abandonment -- by God against humanity and vice versa. God demands unconditional obedience and humanity withholds submission and holds God accountable for his promises. Professor Burt shows that in the Bible justice is an imperfect process and he suggests that this imperfect process offers valuable lessons as we struggle with questions of secular political authority today.

Further Reading:

Robert Burt, "Should God Be Obeyed? Should the State?", Washington Post (April 8, 2012). 

Yale Law School Legal Scholarship Repository collection of Prof. Burt's work





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