The Ten Commandments in History: Mosaic Paradigms for a Well-ordered Society

Front Cover
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004 - 226 pages
Foreword by Marion Leathers Kuntz

Paul Grimley Kuntz was a deeply religious man who not only found religious profundity in the Decalogue but also was convinced that it offers the most reasonable paradigm for a well-ordered society. Decrying the loss of the true meaning of the Decalogue in modern times, Kuntz spent the last decade of his life preparing this book, his magnum opus, on the Decalogue. In his research and writing he left no stone unturned, considering the Decalogue and the history of its use from every conceivable angle.

In "The Ten Commandments in History" Kuntz passionately argues that the Ten Commandments are universal principles of social order that have to be applied in concrete circumstances in order for their meaning to be fully understood. In a nearly seamless discourse about the tradition of the Ten Commandments, Kuntz engages the thought of more than twenty philosophers from antiquity to modernity, showing how great minds adapted the Decalogue to the needs of their particular age. Among the figures treated in the book are Philo, Aquinas, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Hobbes, Locke, Edwards, Kant, Jefferson, Montaigne, Pascal, Hegel, and Nietzsche. By demonstrating the crucial role of the Decalogue in the history of ideas, Kuntz hoped that readers would find a new reverence for the Ten Commandments and once again value their place in civil society.

From inside the book

Contents

The Ten Commandments Ancient and Modern
3
Philo Judaeus A Decalogue in Balance
11
Saint Gregory of Palamas The Christian Transformation
27
Richard Rolle The Decalogue of an English Hermit
35
King Alfred The Decalogue and AngloAmerican Law
46
Ramon Lull A Decalogue of Medieval Reasons
50
Thomas Aquinas Firmness and Flexibility in the Decalogue
62
Reformation
79
Joseph Waite Ecstasies of the Puritan Heart
128
Thomas Hobbes and John Locke
134
Jonathan Edwards The Commandment of Love
145
Modern
153
Montesquieu The Decalogue of a Philosophe
155
Immanuel Kant A Critical Decalogue
163
Thomas Jefferson The Decalogues of a Civil Religion
170
Jeremy Bentham Blunt Critic of the Decalogue
185

Girolamo Savonarola The Decalogue of a Fanatic
81
John Wycliffe A Powerful Original
84
Martin Luther A Decalogue of Faith
93
John Calvin The Logic of the Law
107
Paracelsus Commandments without Stone
119
A Diversity of Rationalists Montaigne Pascal Spinoza and Hegel
196
Nietzsche and After The Lastingness of the Ten Commandments
205
Selected Sources
215
Index
218
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