What's Divine about Divine Law?: Early Perspectives

Front Cover
Princeton University Press, 2015 - Religion - 412 pages

"Christine Hayes confronts one of the most fundamental questions of the nature of law with a rare combination of conceptual depth and meticulous scholarship. Her analysis of the rabbinic understanding of divine law located in response to alternative notions developed in Greco-Roman culture is a brilliant and seminal achievement."--Moshe Halbertal, author of Maimonides: Life and Thought

"For anyone interested in the history of Western legal thought, this lucid, lively, and meticulously argued book is an indispensable text. With verve and a scholar's mastery of the sources, Hayes brilliantly tells the story of an ancient theological quarrel whose echoes can still be heard in every law school classroom today."--Anthony Kronman, Yale Law School

"This is a pathbreaking and ambitious study of a topic of crucial importance for Jewish studies in particular and legal philosophy more broadly. The scholarship is first-rate. Hayes convincingly establishes that the rabbinic discourse on divine law in late antiquity was self-consciously distinct from Greco-Roman conceptions as well as a great deal of prior Jewish literature."--Jonathan Klawans, author of Josephus and the Theologies of Ancient Judaism

"Hayes invites us to consider how the early rabbinic conception of divine law continues to echo in modern debates within Judaism. Her remarkable book should be required reading for anyone concerned about the future of Judaism and, indeed, the future of law."--Suzanne L. Stone, Yeshiva University

"This compelling and comprehensive book provides an elegant framework for differentiating between the metaphysical and philosophical givens presumed as the basis for divine law in the Bible, Greco-Roman culture, and a variety of ancient Jewish sources. Hayes articulates an extremely nuanced and periodized understanding of rabbinic law."--Barry Scott Wimpfheimer, author of Narrating the Law: A Poetics of Talmudic Legal Stories

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

About the author (2015)

Christine Hayes is the Robert F. and Patricia R. Weis Professor of Religious Studies in Classical Judaica at Yale University. Her books include Introduction to the Bible, The Emergence of Judaism: Classical Traditions in Contemporary Perspective, and Gentile Impurities and Jewish Identities: Intermarriage and Conversion from the Bible to the Talmud.

Bibliographic information