Rabbinic Political Theory
Religion and Politics in the Mishnah
Neusner begins his study with a modification of Weber's categories for a theory of politics: myth, institutions, administration, passion, responsibility, and proportion. Detailing the Mishnah's conception of politics, Neusner considers what he calls the stable and static structure and system through comparison with Aristotle. Although Aristotle's Politics and the Mishnah share a common economic theory based on the fundamental unit of the householder, they diverge in their conceptions of political structure and order. Aristotle embeds economics within political economy, while, Neusner argues, the Mishnah presents the anomaly of an economics separated from politics.
Using modern political terms, this study explicates the complicated politics developed by the philosopher-theologians of the Mishnah. It is a first-rate contribution to our understanding of the intersection of politics, political philosophy, and the Mishnaic system.