The Quest for a Common Humanity

Human Dignity and Otherness in the Religious Traditions of the Mediterranean

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The worldview that all human beings belong to one big family has, in the history of religions, never been taken for granted. Moreover, human rights are a modern notion that should not be projected back onto the sacred texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. However, from the Hellenistic period onwards one encounters the idea of human duties towards not only parents, neighbours and fellow citizens but to all human beings. This volume explores the development of this idea from Antiquity to the present time focussing on the "other" as "neighbour, enemy, and infidel", on the interpretation of the Biblical story of Abraham´s sacrifice and on ancient and modern ethical and legal implications of the concept of human dignity.

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Katell Berthelot is Researcher at the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), working on the history of Judaism in the Hellenistic and Roman period. She has published mainly on Jewish literature in Greek and on the Dead Sea Scrolls, including two books with Brill (2003 and 2004).

Matthias Morgenstern is Professor of Jewish Studies at Tübingen University. He has published extensively on German-Jewish Neo-Orthodoxy including "From Frankfurt to Jerusalem. Isaac Breuer and the History of the Secession Dispute in Modern Jewish Orthodoxy" (Brill, 2002).
Contributors include: Katell Berthelot, Christian Boudignon, Florence Bouet, Eric Chaumont, Claudio Gianotto, Hans-Peter Grosshans, Matthias Morgenstern, David Novak, Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Edouard Robberechts, Teresa Sardella, Yossef Soffer, Natale Spineto, Ismail Taspinar, Fabricio Vecoli, Sharon Weisser, Gianmaria Zamagni
All those interested in the history of the interpretation of the Bible and the Koran and the history of the three monotheistic religions, as well as classical philologists, theologians and philosophers.