Civil Rights in Biblical Times


Many of us look to the Bible to justify our views on the rights
of women, minorities, immigrants, persons with disabilities,
etc. We also find models in it for good and bad management
of cities, towns and countries, plus tax policy, land
management and many more issues. These sessions span
two millennia of biblical themes from the patriarchs (and a
few matriarchs) all the way through the time of Jesus, examining
the way laws affected the rich and the poor, men and
women, free people and slaves, civil and uncivil societies.

We will compare those times to the present day in the context
of the many issues that are on the front burner of current
national policy considerations. Many famous biblical figures
and their influence on various themes will be included:
the daughters of Zelophehad, Mary Magdalene and St.
Paul on women’s rights; Joshua, Solomon and Cyrus on
nation-building; Moses, Jesus and St. Peter on slavery;
Moses and St. Paul on homosexuality; and dozens more.

There will be extensive citations from biblical sources
as well as perspectives from commentators, such
as Josephus, Augustine, Rashi (Shlomo Yitzhaki),
Maimonides (Rambam), Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther,
Raymond Brown, Martin Buber, Teilhard de Chardin
and others. No previous familiarity with the Old or New
Testament is needed.


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