In Gods Shadow: Politics in the Hebrew Bible
by Michael Walzer
Yale, 256 pages, $28
In the Bible, argues Michael Walzer, God casts a shadow over human politics, making it hard to see that human beings are at work. The Pentateuchs different law codes, for example, bear silent witness to shifting political configurations among men even though they claim to come from God alone. The Bible, Walzer says, is the record of a nation whose God did not leave much room for independent decision-making. Only when God is put in the shadows can human beings engage in politics as they ought to.