Founding God's Nation: Reading Exodus
Founding God's Nation: Reading Exodus
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Founding God's Nation: Reading Exodus

by Leon R. Kass

4.8 Rank Score: 5 from 1 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 0 user libraries
Pages 752
Publisher Yale University Press
Published 2021
ISBN-13 978-0300264647
In this long-awaited follow-up to his 2003 book on Genesis, humanist scholar Leon Kass explores how Exodus raises and then answers the central political questions of what defines a nation and how a nation should govern itself. Considered by some the most important book in the Hebrew Bible, Exodus tells the story of the Jewish people from their enslavement in Egypt, through their liberation under Moses’s leadership, to the covenantal founding at Sinai and the building of the Tabernacle. In Kass’s analysis, these events began the slow process of learning how to stop thinking like slaves and become an independent people. The Israelites ultimately founded their nation on three elements: a shared narrative that instills empathy for the poor and the suffering, the uplifting rule of a moral law, and devotion to a higher common purpose. These elements, Kass argues, remain the essential principles for any freedom-loving nation today.


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This is a brand new commentary by University of Chicago professor emeritus Leon Kass, a humanist scholar. Kass reads Exodus as a wholistic text with ongoing significance. He is not a specialist in Hebrew Bible, but his approach is refreshing and insightful. [Full Review]