How the Bible Inspired the Social Contract

March 17, 2021 | Kyle Swan
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Much of modern political thought—and especially the Anglo-American strain that shaped the United States—is rooted in the idea of a social contract uniting the rulers and the ruled, in which the government’s authority ultimately rests on the consent of the governed. At first blush, nothing could be further from the Hebrew Bible, where God appoints prophets, judges, and kings to rule over the Israelites, and legislation comes from God Himself. But Kyle Swan believes there are in fact deep similarities: first and foremost, the relationship between God and Israel is at its heart a covenant into which both parties entered voluntarily, based on mutual and complementary expectations. Swan explores these ideas in conversation with Dru Johnson. (Audio, 40 minutes.)

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