Politics of the Bible Publication date : January 10, 2013
Armand Laferrère is Director of Development at Areva and an adviser to the French Court of Auditors. He is a member of the editorial board of the magazine Commentaire.
Often disparaged, the Bible has recently been the focus of a growing number of attacks against religion and religious writings as sources of tyranny. Armand Leferrère argues here that critics of the Bible base their arguments on a flawed knowledge of biblical texts, even when they recognise the Bible’s influence on Western political thought.
The Bible, he says, provides answers to the three central questions of political organisation: How is power attributed in a given society? Over whom is it wielded? What are the principles that should guide the decisions of those in power?
Laferrère demonstrates that the Bible advocates the limits of power, the exercise of individual liberties and the protection of the weak. Arguing that the Bible is more than a collection of spiritual texts, he urges us to use it as a manual for our times.
• This new reading of the world’s most famous book is indispensable to help dissipate the current controversy on religion’s political message.
• A cool, dispassionate work which will nonetheless prove to be controversial.
• A riposte to the argument that monotheism is the source of violence.