In this book noted scholar Thomas L. Pangle brings back a lost and crucial dimension of political theory: the mutually illuminating encounter between skeptically rationalist political philosophy and faith-based political theology guided ultimately by the authority of the Bible. Focusing on the chapters of Genesis in which the foundation of the Bible is laid, Pangle provides an interpretive reading illuminated by the questions and concerns of the Socratic tradition and its medieval heirs in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic worlds. He brings into contrast the rival interpretive framework set by the biblical criticism of the modern rationalists Hobbes and Spinoza, along with their heirs from Locke to Hegel. The full meaning of these diverse philosophic responses to the Bible is clarified through a dialogue with hermeneutic discussions by leading political theologians in the Judaic, Muslim, and Christian traditions, from Josephus and Augustine to our day. Profound and subtle in its argument, this book will be of interest not only to students and scholars of politics, philosophy, and religion but also to thoughtful readers in every walk of life who seek to deepen their understanding of the perplexing relationship between religious faith and philosophic reason.
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