The Love of Parents for Their Children as the Foundation of a Just State: Close Readings of Plato's Republic and The Book of Job

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This book argues that the premises of the Republic and of Job are fundamentally the same and therefore deserve comparison. Their similarities derive from the premise of testing the just man by subjecting him to extreme injustice. The fundamental conclusion of the book is that both Job and the Republic teach that the foundation of innocence and therefore legal procedure lies in an eternal, beneficent creator. They differ when Job draws the further conclusion that both beneficent creation and wronged innocence require human rule over creation.


"The tragedy of the loss of these two books is what it portends for the aspirations of the future. For these books have as their overriding theme, the passionate wish for the very best kingdom to come on earth and the reasons for it not coming. The hope they provide is that of a lament. They recall the story of very good kingdoms and people coming to be and being destroyed yet somehow remaining as a possibility. The deepest reasons for that possibility lie in a mystery which these books ask us to consider and the destroyers of these books require us to ignore: we live necessarily in view of eternity as well as of time."

Table of Contents





1. Book I, 327-328b: A Child Tugs at Socrates

2. Book I, 328b-331e: The Admirable Cephalus

3. Book I, 331d: Parental Love

4. Book I, 331e-336a: War, Production and Justice

5. Book I, 336b-354c: Socrates' Friend

6. Book II, 357a-369b4: The Devil

7. Book II, 369b5-376e: Paradise Lost

8. Book II, 376e-383c: Socrates' Analysis of Lyrics

9. Book III, 386a-396c: Imitation

10. Book III, 396c-403c: Music

11. Book III, 403c-412: The Medicine of the Feverish City

12. Book III, 412-417b: The Truth is not The Way

13. Book IV, 419-445e: The Pursuit of Happiness

14. Book V, 449-471c: Inalienable Rights

15. Book V, 471c-Book VI, 504c: The Love of Wisdom

16. Book VI, 504c-Book VII, 527c: The Eternity of the Soul

17. Book VII, 527c-Book IX, 592b: Prayer and Decadence

18. Book VIII, 543a-Book IX, 592b: We are Socrates' Children

19. Book VII, 565d-Book IX, 592b: Hecuba's Children

20. Book X: A Beautiful Soul is the Most Beautiful Sight

21. Rebirth and the Beneficence of Creation

22. Hesed

A Short History of Steadfast Love

23. Psalm 89: Singing of Love

24. Psalm 119: Steadfast Love is the Foundation of the Law

25. Psalm 136: The Gift of Hesed

26. Job: Hesed and Idolatry

27. Job: Moses' Friend

28. Job and Rebirth: A Qualification of the Beneficence of the Rationality of Creation

29. Job and Genesis: The Teaching of God About Creation

30. Job and Genesis: God's Blessing

31. Job and Genesis: Alienation, Equality and Law

32. Job 19: The Book of Rock and Redeemer


Index to Text and Authors Cited

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