A Flood of Justice: The Scope of Justice in the Flood Narrative (Gen. 6:5–9:19)

in International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

The scope of justice in the Hebrew Bible is often human-centred. Humankind is given pre-eminence, and God's responses are judged according to human values. However the flood story in Gen. 6:5–9:19 offers a very different view of justice. It locates justice within a complex web of relationships between God, humans, other life-forms and the earth itself. The creator-otherness of God permeates the story. The justice codified in the Noahic covenant takes into account the differing natures and resultant vulnerabilities inherent in the relationships between these differing participants. It is a justice that accepts the human condition, the human capacity for evil, violence and corruption, but seeks to limit its propensity to corrupt creation through regulation and by ceding to humans the responsibility for policing these regulations.

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