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The historical and evolving perspective in religion toward "an eye for an eye"


The historical and evolving perspective in religion toward "an eye for an eye"

Jacobson, Asher (2006) The historical and evolving perspective in religion toward "an eye for an eye". Masters thesis, Concordia University.

Text (application/pdf)
MR20718.pdf - Accepted Version


The law of talion, also known as the principle of retaliation is found in the Torah, the Hebrew Bible. In the past and also today, the meaning of this principle remains highly discussed. It is often interpreted as vindicating justice, whereas it is also considered as a harsh-barbaric maxim incompatible with a civilized society which has developed legal principles. By investigating the purpose, function and morality of this law in the ancient world in Israel and in society today, I hope to demonstrate that this principle and its application is just as critical and relevant to our lives, particularly in today's society. A major question through the centuries has been: Was there a literal dimension to "an eye for an eye" - the lex talionis - or was the Bible's original intention monetary compensation? By observing history, I will explore the consistencies, moral advances and declines and the practices of Judaism, Christianity and Islam - how they applied the principle through their social and cultural structure, and how each viewed the others religious beliefs in relation to this principle. A principle teaching within Judaism states that G-d abides by all the commandments which he sets forth. Thus, the justice of talion also applies to Divine retribution. By reflecting on historical events (catastrophes and genocides) in relation to 'eye for an eye' and 'life for a life', in this paper I expect to shed some insight on the how and why which has plagued the human spirit for thousands of years in relation to true justice

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Theological Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Jacobson, Asher
Pagination:iii, 85 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Theological Studies
Thesis Supervisor(s):Kannengiesser, Charles
ID Code:9142
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 18:45
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:34
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