Dancing in Chains

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explains how apparent antitheses of law and exemplary individuality are, in fact, merely apparent, and how spirited, even revolutionary individuality is valued by both traditions. The chapter considers the ways in which the comprehensive legalism of Judaic and Islamic thought actually is not an impediment to freedom or a constraining imposition on individuality. This approach to the relationship between law and freedom can do much to correct persistent misinterpretations of the Judaic conception of moral personality. It explicates the ways in which these faith-traditions are alert to the differences between what is required of people in regard to behaviour on the one hand, and the significance of the vigour of individual character, on the other. Moreover, the traditions have a realistic appreciation of the difference between aspiring to fashion a stable, virtuous social world, and trying to remake human nature or individual persons.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationJudaic Sources and Western Thought
Subtitle of host publicationJerusalem's Enduring Presence
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191728952
ISBN (Print)9780199583157
StatePublished - 22 Sep 2011


  • Legalism
  • Romanticism
  • Spontaneity
  • Virtue

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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