Isaiah's Vision of Peace in Biblical and Modern International Relations Swords into Plowshares

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-02-15
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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The prophet Isaiah was privy to the most intimate secrets of government and diplomacy. An adviser at the royal court in 8th century BCE Jerusalem, he was familiar with international politics, marked by ideologies that vaunted war and conquest. Was his prophecy of a peaceful, disarmed world simply a Messianic parable unattainable in practice? Or was it a pragmatic response to the geo-political realities of the day? And does it have a practical value for today's international relations? A multidisciplinary team of experts investigates the puzzle of what Isaiah really meant.

Author Biography

RAYMOND COHEN is Chaim Weizmann Professor of International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His publications include Culture and Conflict in Egyptian-Israeli Relations and Negotiating Across Cultures. Together with Ray Westbrook he edited Amarna Diplomacy: The Beginnings of International Relations. A resident of Jerusalem, he is fascinated by the history of the holy city. His latest book is entitled Saving the Holy Sepulchre: How rivals restored the Church of the Resurrection.
RAYMOND WESTBROOK is Professor of Ancient Law at the Johns Hopkins University. His publications include A History of Ancient Near Eastern Law (ed.) and Studies in Biblical and Cuneiform Law. Together with Raymond Cohen he edited Amarna Diplomacy: The Beginnings of International Relations. His main research interests are the interrelationship between ancient Near Eastern and Classical law and the origins of diplomacy. 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
List of Contributorsp. xiii
Prophetic Textsp. xvii
Introduction: The World of Isaiahp. 1
Peace Orders Ancient and Modernp. 15
On Pax Assyriaca in the Eighth-Seventh Centuries BCE and Its Implicationsp. 17
Swords into Plowshares in an Age of Global Governancep. 37
The Search for Securityp. 53
Let Other Kingdoms Struggle with the Great Powers-You, Judah, Pay the Tribute and Hope for the Best: The Foreign Policy of the Kings of Judah in the Ninth-Eighth Centuries BCEp. 55
"You Have Heard What the Kings of Assyria Have Done": Disarmament Passages vis-a-vis Assyrian Rhetoric of Intimidationp. 75
Isaiah and International Relations Theoryp. 101
Is Isaiah an "Offensive Liberal"?: International Relations Theory Responds to Isaiah's Vision of World Orderp. 103
Is Isaiah a Social Constructivist?p. 121
Isaiah and the Literary Traditionp. 137
Swords into Plowshares: The Development and Implementation of a Visionp. 139
World Peace and "Holy War"-Two Sides of the Same Theological Concept: "YHWH as Sole Divine Power" (A Canonical-Intertextual Reading of Isaiah 2:1-5, Joel 4:9-21, and Micah 4:1-5)p. 151
Religion and International Politicsp. 167
Isaiah's Vision of Human Security: Virtue Ethics and International Politics in the Ancient Near Eastp. 169
From Holy War to Holy Peace: Biblical Alternatives to Belligerent Rhetoricp. 181
Ethics and International Politicsp. 199
Isaiah's Prophecy and the Idea of "Classical Harmony"p. 201
"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition!": A Realist Response to Isaiah's Irenic Visionp. 211
Conclusion: Swords into Plowshares Then and Nowp. 229
Bibliographyp. 241
General Indexp. 267
Index of Ancient Termsp. 279
Index of Biblical Referencesp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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