Robert Eisen is a professor of religion and Judaic studies at George Washington University. His book seems to promise a full scholarly account of Jewish thought on peace and violence, from ancient Torah to contemporary Israel.

The book is written as a series of dialogues between two voices: one that believes Judaism accepts and affirms the use of violence, and one that believes Judaism much more strongly seeks and urges peace. Each section of the book—which is chronologically arranged—presents the arguments for one voice and then the other. To assure the reader that for most of the book he is not taking sides between these voices, Eisen begins the biblical section with the voice that promotes violence; the rabbinic section with the voice that promotes peace; and so on, back and forth, for the rest of the book. (The remaining sections are on medieval Jewish philosophy, Kabbalah, and...

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