Murray’s study of the covenant theme begins with a chronological survey of the concept, beginning at the creation itself. He traces this theme through the Bible, noting its key components of justice and peace. The concept is a shared one between Judaism and Christianity, and Murray suggests that it continues to have ecological as well as spiritual relevance to the world today.
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Robert Murray’s The Cosmic Covenant is now more widely available to the American market through the Tigris Imprint. Still as relevant today as it was when first published, Murray’s exploration of the covenant theme in the Bible includes a practical application for the ecological state of our planet today. Taking the concept of covenant beyond the standard landmark of Moses, back to the creation itself, Murray traces how this theme moves throughout Judaism and Christianity in a unified vision. Incorporating observations of Philo, the Talmud, Saint Isaac of Nineveh and other Syriac fathers that Murray has spent a lifetime studying, this monograph reflects the extensive wisdom of the East. Key concepts such as justice and peace are the very substance of the covenant idea; this was reflected in First Temple liturgies and informed the very idea of the royal aspect of God’s image. Beginning with a chronological survey, Murray demonstrates how covenant is connected to cosmic order and, although the concept varies between Judaism and Christianity, both traditions share it. If this theme were taken seriously, irresponsible action toward the Earth would be understood as a violation of God’s covenant with humanity.
Robert Murray, S.J. (b. 1925) taught at Heythrop College in the University of London. He is known for his substantial contributions to scholarship in biblical, Syriac, and theological studies. He has been a member of the Jesuit Order since 1949 and is noted for his dedication to Jewish-Christian relationships as well as inter-Christian dialogue.