Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Chapter 2 BEYOND MODERNISM: TIME, SPACE AND THE SELF

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

David L. Johnston [+-]
Saint Joseph’s University
David L. Johnston is Visiting Scholar at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct lecturer at the Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. He lived for fifteen years in Algeria, Egypt and the West Bank, where he served as a pastor and teacher. He then completed his PhD work at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California) in theology and Islamic Studies; continued his research and taught part-time at the Religious Studies Department at Yale University. His published articles and essays have mostly focused on the intersection of theology and law in contemporary Islam (Islamochristiana, Islamic Law and Society, The Maghreb Review, Die Welt des Islams and Journal of the American Academy of Religion). His blogs can be found on his website, www.humantrustees.org

Description

This chapter and the next aim to show how the modern paradigm of growth and possession has identifiable philosophical roots in the Western Enlightenment project. Only by identifying those roots can we see why and how the seeds of a new tree must be planted. In the biblical book of Proverbs—that collection of wisdom sayings common to much of the ancient Near East—we read, “Where there is no vision the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”   The overall theme of the  chapter in which this saying occurs, ch. 29, is the contrast between a society with wicked rulers (“the people groan under an intolerable burden as injustice and violence flourish unchecked”) and one with godly rulers.   Striking a familiar theme in the Torah, v. 7 emphasizes “the rights of the poor,” which here means, “to actively promote justice for the poor.”   The above quoted v. 18 uses the Hebrew word chazon , literally a “prophetic vision.” No doubt “vision” here encompasses all aspects of revelation, prophecy and law, which are “essential to the harmony and well being of society and the individuals within it.”

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Citation

Johnston, David L.. Chapter 2 BEYOND MODERNISM: TIME, SPACE AND THE SELF. Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 62 - 110 Apr 2010. ISBN 9781781790359. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19277. Date accessed: 21 Nov 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19277. Apr 2010

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