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Human Nature & Jewish ThoughtJudaism's Case for Why Persons Matter$
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Alan L. Mittleman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176277

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176277.001.0001

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Persons Together

Persons Together

(p.145) Chapter 4 Persons Together
Human Nature & Jewish Thought

Alan L. Mittleman

Princeton University Press

This chapter moves into the political and economic aspects of human nature. Given scarcity and interdependence, what sense has Judaism made of the material well-being necessary for human flourishing? What are Jewish attitudes toward prosperity, market relations, labor, and leisure? What has Judaism had to say about the political dimensions of human nature? If all humans are made in the image of God, what does that original equality imply for political order, authority, and justice? In what kinds of systems can human beings best flourish? It argues that Jewish tradition shows that we act in conformity with our nature when we elevate, improve, and sanctify it. As co-creators of the world with God, we are not just the sport of our biochemistry. We are persons who can select and choose among the traits that comprise our very own natures, cultivating some and weeding out others.

Keywords:   Judaism, well-being, human nature, prosperity, market relations, labor, leisure

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