“Exodus and Revolution” is a book by Michael Walzer, a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. The book, published in 1985, explores the influence of the biblical story of the Exodus on the development of revolutionary thought and political action. Walzer examines the Exodus narrative, in which the Israelites escape slavery in Egypt under the leadership of Moses and journey to the Promised Land, as a foundational myth for Western political thought.
In “Exodus and Revolution,” Walzer argues that the story has served as an inspiration for various revolutionary movements throughout history. He points out that the themes of liberation from oppression, collective struggle, and the pursuit of a better society resonate with many political ideologies, particularly those seeking social and political change.
Walzer also discusses the significance of the Exodus story in the context of three key principles of revolutionary thought: the idea of a chosen people, the notion of a Promised Land, and the concept of a covenant with God. He shows how these principles have influenced the development of liberation theology, civil rights movements, and modern democratic ideals.
The book is both a study of the political implications of the Exodus story and an examination of how the narrative has been appropriated and reinterpreted by different groups to justify their own political goals. Walzer’s work is a valuable contribution to the understanding of the relationship between religious texts and political theory, and it offers a unique perspective on the enduring influence of the Exodus story on Western political thought.