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The Ten Commandments in History
Mosaic Paradigms for a Well-Ordered Society
POD; Published: 1/19/2004
ISBN: 978-0-8028-2660-2
Price: $ 26.50
240 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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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, The Ten Commandments in History. In his research and writing he left no stone unturned, considering the Decalogue and the history of its use from every conceivable angle.

Kuntz passionately argues here 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.
Harold J. Berman
"This is an important work — one that traces successive understandings of the Ten Commandments from early times to our own time and thus challenges us to make the Ten Commandments the basis of our own twenty-first-century morality. "
Brian Tierney
"This wise and far-ranging book leads us to a deeper understanding of the Ten Commandments by explaining how their teachings were reflected in the works of more than thirty authors from Philo Judeus to Nietzsche. Paul Grimley Kuntz shows how the Commandments are not just the tabus of an ancient Near Eastern people but permanent principles of orderly life applicable in all ages. Mosaic Paradigms will be a valuable resource for students of religious history and for all who are interested in the moral foundations of Western civilization. "