Persuasion and force in 4 Maccabees: Appropriating a political dialectic

Journal article


Edsall, Ben. (2017). Persuasion and force in 4 Maccabees: Appropriating a political dialectic. Journal for the Study of Judaism. 48(1), pp. 92 - 112. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12341137
AuthorsEdsall, Ben
Abstract

The present study explores the themes of persuasion and force in Greco-Roman political thought and their appropriation in 4 Maccabees. I argue that among Greco-Roman political writers, stretching from Plato to Plutarch, the problem of balancing persuasion and force and their relationship to civic virtues cut to the heart of the varied constitutional theories and proposals. While persuasion was preferred in ideal situations, force was recognized to be an important corollary for the masses (§1). Turning to 4 Maccabees, a good example of the Jewish appropriation of the dominant political philosophy, I demonstrate that the political persuasion/force dynamic is foundational both to the philosophical prologue and the martyr narrative.

Keywords4 Maccabees; early Judaism; Greco-Roman political philosophy; persuasion; force; constitution
Year2017
JournalJournal for the Study of Judaism
Journal citation48 (1), pp. 92 - 112
PublisherBrill Academic Publishers
ISSN0047-2212
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/15700631-12341137
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85016078670
Page range92 - 112
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationNetherlands
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