Paradox and Contradiction in the Biblical Traditions
The Two Ways of the World
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Publisher: Lexington Books
Number of Pages: 302
Width: 16.3 cm
Height: 22.7 cm
The principal thesis that the author advances in this book is that paradox and contradiction constitute the two ways of the world. Paradox represents the way of the people of the Bible, and contradiction represents the way of all peoples who, having lived without knowledge of the Bible, have traditionally been known as gentiles or pagans. The two ideas that are central to the biblical way of life (as known historically by Jews, Christians, and Muslims) are creation and covenant, while the contradictory way of paganism has precisely been marked by the absence of these two concepts. In his book the author distinguishes the paradoxical way of the world from the contradictory way of the world through the examination of principal texts of four of the most significant early modern, European thinkers from the later sixteenth century to the earlier eighteenth century: Montaigne, Descartes, Spinoza, and Vico. He shows that each of these four authors, in distinctive yet fundamentally interrelated fashion, provides us with profound insight into how absolutely different the paradoxical way of the world as biblical is from the contradictory way of the world as found, primarily and specifically, in Greek and Roman antiquity.