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law, justice, idolatry, responsibility, Bible, Exodus, Levinas

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Law | Religion Law


THE Book of Exodus desscribes the identity of justice and the law. Because elsewhere the gap between justice and the law is so wide -- in Christian theology when it sees the Pharisaic law as inhibiting the realization of justice; in philosophy where from Plato on, law is formal while is justice substantive; in political theory, which includes those who endorse "procedural justice" when they abandon substantive justice -- this radical biblical vision, wherein the law is justice is surely unique. This is not an understanding of the law as a series of prescriptions, the "yoke of the law" but the minimal requiremnt of respoect for another's life and responsibility for those lacking protection: the widow, orphan, and poor. Emmanuel Levinas has noted the revolutional aspect of this revelation of justice, and defined the heirs of Abraham as those who hav duties toward the other.

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