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The Mosaic Constitution: Political Theology and Imagination from Machiavelli to Miltonby Graham L. Hammill
Synopses & Reviews
It is a common belief that scripture has no place in modern, secular politics. Graham Hammill challenges this notion in The Mosaic Constitution, arguing that Mosesandrsquo;s constitution of Israel, which created people bound by the rule of law, was central to early modern writings about government and state.
Hammill shows how political writers from Machiavelli to Spinoza drew on Mosaic narrative to imagine constitutional forms of government. At the same time, literary writers like Christopher Marlowe, Michael Drayton, and John Milton turned to Hebrew scripture to probe such fundamental divisions as those between populace and multitude, citizenship and race, and obedience and individual choice. As these writers used biblical narrative to fuse politics with the creative resources of language, Mosaic narrative also gave them a means for exploring divine authority as a product of literary imagination. The first book to place Hebrew scripture at the cutting edge of seventeenth-century literary and political innovation, The Mosaic Constitution offers a fresh perspective on political theology and the relations between literary representation and the founding of political communities.
About the Author
Graham Hammill is associate professor of English at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. He is the author of Sexuality and Form and coeditor of Political Theology and Early Modernity, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
Table of Contents
Part One: Moses and Political Theology
2. Machiavelli and Hebrew Scripture
3. Spinoza and the Theological Imaginary
Part Two: The Mosaic Constitution in England: Sovereignty, Government, Literature,1590-1630
4. Marlowe and the Counter-Reformation
5. Drayton and the Plague
Part Three: Political Making, Literary Making, 1651-1671
6. Marvells Mosaic Moment
7. Harringtons Poetics of Government
8. Paradise Regained and the Limits of Toleration
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