Fortress Press

Humanity before God: Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Ethics

Humanity before God

Contemporary Faces of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Ethics

Michael Johnson (Editor), Kevin Jung (Editor), William Schweiker (Editor)


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Does religious extremism represent an inevitable consequence of firmly held beliefs in life-and-death situations? Is there a way out?

Gathering ethicists and scholars from the three major and often conflicting monotheistic traditions, each was asked to correlate a religious tradition's sacred texts and tradition with the contemporary world's pluralism and claims about the inalienable sanctity and dignity of human life. The result is that the reader sees "human life before God" in new and profound ways.

Contributors include:

  • Hilary Putnam
  • Abdulaziz Sachedina
  • Lisa Sowle Cahill
  • Michael Fishbane
  • William Schweiker
  • Tikva Frymer-Kensky
  • Michael A. Johnson
  • Paul Mendes-Flohr
  • Kevin Jung
  • Lawrence Vogel
  • Azizah al-Hibri
  • David Little
  • Kohn Kelsay
  • Seyyed Hossein Nasr
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800638221
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 336
  • Publication Date April 17, 2006


"Humanity Before God is a wonderfully ecumenical exploration of the foundations of the three great theistic religions — foundations that can form the foundation of irenic coexistence and cooperation."
— John T. Noonan, Jr., United States Circuit Judge

Table of Contents


  1. Monotheism and Humanism, Hilary Putnam
  2. Human Vicegerency: A Blessing or a Curse?
    The Challenge to Be God's Caliph in the Qur'an, Abdulaziz Sachedina
  3. Embodying God's Image: Created, Broken, and Redeemed, Lisa Sowle Cahill
  4. The Image of God and the Human Ideal: Reflections from the Varieties of Judaism, Michael Fishbane
  5. Distinctive Love: Gratitude for Life and Theological Humanism, William Schweiker
  6. The Image, the Glory, and the Holy: Aspects of Being Human in Biblical Thought, Tikva Frymer-Kensky
  7. Creation and Initiative: A Reading of Ricoeur's Ethics of Originary Affirmation, Michael A. Johnson


  9. The Humanistic Ethic: Jewish Reflections, Paul Mendes-Flohr
  10. Common Morality, Premoral Goods, and Religion, Kevin Jung
  11. Natural-Law Judaism? The Genesis of Bioethics in Hans Jonas, Leo Strauss, and Leon Kass, Lawrence Vogel
  12. Divine Justice and the Human Order: An Islamic Perspective, Azizah Y. al-Hibri
  13. Religion, Human Rights, and Secularism: Preliminary Clarifications and Some Islamic, Jewish, and Christian Responses, David Little
  14. Armed Force and Political Responsibility: Justification and Resort to War in Abrahamic Traditions, John Kelsay
  15. Standing before God: Human Responsibilities and Human Rights, Seyyed Hossein Nasr

  16. Index of Names and Subjects
    Index of Scriptural References