Is the Bible Outdated?
Izabela Jaruzelska’s study of the socio-economic position of the officials in the ancient Israel (Jaruzelska, 1998) has already received a dozen, more or less favourable, reviews and critical notes. Waldemar Chrostowski (Chrostowski, 1999: 5–9) and Lukasz Niesiolowski-Spano (1999: 561–563), Maria Kantor (1999: 135–137) and Michael Heltzer (1999: 327–329) have written about it. J. A. Dearman (2000: 327–328) has also written about it. It has been noticed by R. P. Gordon, (2000: 271), R. J. Coggins (2000: 46), B. Lang (1998/1999: 485). Of particular importance, however, is Michael S. Moore’s opinion of the book voiced in The Journal of Biblical Literature (Moore, 2000: 758–760).
The latter author is certainly an eminent American Biblicist and Orientalist, and possibly a theologian and a professor. His review, abundant in interesting observations and thoughts, concludes with a general assessment of the book. We read that I. Jaruzelska’s study of the officialdom of the times of Amos is “fascinating, thorough and creative.” We also read: “anyone interested in doing serious sociological research on eighth-century Israel will find it an enormously helpful resource.” The excellent Biblicist’s opinion of the treatise by Ms. Jaruzelska, who is now a professor at the universities of Warsaw and Poznan, is the more valuable because he has taken the trouble to make his review available from three sources which are important for contemporary scholars: the Web site of Amazon (the world’s largest mail-order bookstore), a serious specialist journal of Bible studies and the Internet. Thus, the great English-speaking community may learn both about the reviewed book and about the ideas expressed in M. S. Moore’s review. This community consists of scholars, intellectuals and students, all the friends and foes of the Bible, all the friends and foes of officials, sociology, social science and the humanities, and all the friends and foes of Amos and other prophets of the ancient Israel. As a matter of course, this great community includes those whom St. Augustine called the angels of good and the angels of evil. Both categories of supernatural persons know and understand the English language perfectly, and both will easily notice that certain sociological ideas expressed in the American Biblicist’s review are questionable and not absolutely accurate.
M. S. Moore transforms his address into an object of global intellectual property: Fuller Theological Seminary Southwest, Phoenix, AZ 85034. Therefore, a reader of his review may use conventional or electronic mail to ask him several questions: Does the author consider the concept of ownership and social differentiation found in the Bible to be entirely, absolutely and definitely outdated? Obviously and undoubtedly, everything that was written before the births of Michael S. Moore, I. Jaruzelska, S. Kozyr-Kowalski and all contemporary scholars, is now more or less outdated. And yet, sociological neoclassicism (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1999: 7–25; 2000/1999: 15–39) is a model of the comprehension of the social reality that uses material evidence to prove that many fundamental theses on society as a whole and on the methods of its study have preserved or may preserve, due to new intellectual work, their material theoretical and heuristic value in the epoch of modernity and post-modernity. In fact, the scientific and extra-scientific thought of the past may now acquire much more cognitive significance than it used to have. After all, sociology and other branches of social science are subject not only to progress, but also to regression, and one may encounter in them symptoms of epigonism, decline and decay (cf. Znaniecki, 1974; Bloom, 1997; Gockowski, 1999; Ziolkowski, 1997).
Sociological neoclassicism is inspired by Hegel’s momentous idea of the past as an unavoidable component of each present. The past raised to the level of the contemporary is called the apparent past. Another weighty ingredient of the neoclassical sociological model is Alfred Schutz’s consequential thought that all social worlds are made up of the Umwelt (the world which constitutes the immediate environment of the people), the Mitwelt (the contemporary world), the Vorwelt (the past world) and the Folgewelt (the future world). Specific categories of individuals live in each of these worlds: the inhabitants and actors of the first one are the Mitmenschen (our close fellow beings), of the second, the Nebenmenschen (more distant people), of the third, the Vorfahren (the ancestors), and of the fourth, the Nachfahren (the descendants) (cf. Schutz, 1960: 159–161).
A result of the application of the neoclassical sociological model to the study of the ur-sociological and crypto-sociological content of the books of the Bible is the hypothesis that the Biblical idea of ownership is much closer to the economic-and-sociological understanding of this notion than the pagan concepts of the Roman law (cf. Jaruzelska, 1992). At the same time, many contemporary concepts of property, authority and ownership are much further away from sociological thinking than the Roman law was, as they are handicapped by ideology in the most classical sense of the word, and particularly by legal fictions and dogmatism. The most eminent contemporary theoreticians of the law have spoken clearly of this fact (cf. D. Ch., 1991: 180–210), while contemporary sociologists are less willing to mention it. We emphasize the word “hypothesis” because contrary to what Dr. Moore thinks, neither Jaruzelska, nor Marx, nor Weber, nor the neoclassical understanding of their thought have considered or are considering their theoretical theorems or the corollaries of their research to be “doctrinal ‘truth’.”
The Outdated and Updated Concepts of Materialism and Idealism
The readers of the review will probably not face the risk of being considered impolite if they ask about the theoretical and empirical meaning of the following fundamental remark of Mr. Moore’s: “Relying heavily on materialistic sociological models (K. Marx, M. Weber, S. Kozyr-Kowalski), this study presupposes sharp distinction between the phenomenon of ownership and the right of property, between direct and indirect means of production, between upper and lower classes in the ancient world.” Toward the end of the review we read that M. S. Moore believes the above-mentioned “materialistic” sociological models to be things of the past and “outdated,” probably because he defines his own general views of society and the methods of its study as state-of-the-art and “updated.”
A reader of the review may ask: Why is Max Weber classified as the author of a materialistic sociological model? Is it because throughout his intellectual life he was occupied with positive critique of the “materialistic comprehension of society”? Would this, then, be the case of the old Polish proverb of the Polish folk: Kto z kim przestaje, takim sie staje (If you take up with somebody, you become like him)? Or is it because Weber studied the place and function of the economy in the social life, the effect of the economy on religion and the effect of religion on the economy? Surely not because unlike his friend Ernst Troeltsch he was not a theologian, and because, as he said himself, he did not have a religious ear? But then, was the German theologian not a materialist by any chance? After all, he thought that disregarding the dependence of religion on the economy, the class system and the state was a most conspicuous sign of the pre-scientific mode of thinking about society. Was he not a doctrinal Marxist as well when he wrote that the last hour of the ideological understanding of the history of religion had struck at the moment of the publication of Marx’s work (cf. Troeltsch, 1922: 21–22, 1919: 9, 14, 976; Kozyr-Kowalski, 1967: 417–418)? Is ideological thinking, rather than a positive overcoming thereof, supposed to be the distinguishing mark of “some models of the updated sociology”? Is it a mere accident or a computer misspelling that have placed quotation marks around the word “truth” in Dr. Moore’s text?
The ideologists or, as Auguste Comte—the creator of the foundations of modern sociology, and not only the inventor of the word—called them, the metaphysicians have not liked the word “truth,” and especially the phrase “material truth,” at least since the days of the Greek Sophists and Pilate. This is because both notions are continual threats to such qualities of their thinking as equivocation, sophistry, paralogism, or, finally, what the ancient, or completely “outdated,” Greeks referred to as “λογοποιια” (“logopoeia”): telling yarns or gossiping (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1997, 1997a). Sociological neoclassicism requires that we construe others’ thoughts in a friendly manner. Thence, we assume that Dr. Moore does not reject the notion of truth, but he merely opposes the idea of “doctrinal truth.”
Is a theology that wishes to confine God to the walls of churches, banishing Him from the realms of the economy and the state, or from the realms of the second matter, i.e., the historical matter, which people have been creating and co-creating from the natural matter, or the primordial nature—is such a theology an expression of “updated” theological thought? Is it not a telling sign of a mode of thinking that has been “outdated” at least since Hegel’s times, to apply the vague, overgeneral concepts of materialism, spiritualism or idealism to characterize sociological and philosophical models? In his Vorlesungen über die Geschichte der Philosophie, the German philosopher wrote ironically about individuals excited by the question of whether the great Greek thinkers had been materialists, or rather idealists or spiritualists. Have the state-of-the-art theology and Bible studies still not been able to address themselves to the profound meaning of Hegel’s statement that all philosophy, whether materialistic or spiritualistic, is a form of idealism? Cannot it be also inferred from his words that according to the “updated” and current understanding of idealism as “beautiful chattering” about the function of thought, ideas, the absolute spirit (the arts, religion, philosophy and science) and collective representations in the social life, one may equally well and equally “outdatedly” call the sociological models that Dr. Moore considers “materialistic,” idealistic?
Under all these models, including “the sociological theories of Jaruzelska’s Doktorvater,” the economy is regarded as a substructure of the objective spirit, an element of Hegel’s Sittlichkeit (customariness) or Lorenz von Stein’s sittliche Ordnung (customary order). In other words, no economy, no structure of ownership and labour, no system of classes and estates, even the most selfish, corrupt and antagonistic ones, may exist without moral and legal ideas, thoughts and principles, without the truth, the good, trust, friendship and freedom, or without the values that the ancient and contemporary religions of the world have been developing and spreading. Such ideas and values become ingredients of customary orders only if they have been transformed into being, materialized and humanized, or if they have turned into actual features of the human world and of the individuals’ personalities (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 2001: 23–51).
Historical Materialism, Marx and the Marxists
Why does Dr. Moore not distinguish, even not sharply, between Marx’s historical materialism and Marxism? Why does he label a genuine, and not false, Christian in the Church (complying with St. Augustine’s sharp distinction), a regular contributor to the journal Poznanskie Studia Teologiczne [The Poznan Studies in Theology] and the Dominican periodical W drodze [On the Road], as a “wild, common and godless” Marxist? This is something that the long “outdated” Hegel might have said. Has M. S. Moore never heard of Marx’s angry statement “I am not a Marxist,” which has become the foundation of the neoclassical comprehension of Marx’s theory (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1992: 53–95)? As a citizen of a linguistic Great Power, Dr. Moore has the right not to know that a classic of the sociology of a small nation, Stanislaw Ossowski (cf. Ossowski, 1957) taught us that Karl Marx’s thought should be studied from the works of Marx himself, rather than from the writings of better or worse Marxists and anti-Marxists. The neoclassical comprehension of Marx’s thought was based principally on the study of the manuscripts of various versions of Das Kapital, which were not generally known in Poland, or the Soviet Union, or Western Europe or the USA. These texts, running to thousands of pages, testify to an important quality of Marx’s legacy. Everything in them is barely begun, nothing is completed. In 1957, Mao Tse-tung, a statesman as well as a poet, characterized the Soviet Union’s attitude to Poland as a Great Power’s nationalism. If I were the leader of China, I would say that the absence of any distinction between Marx and the various Marxists and materialists in Dr. Moore’s review is an indication of a Great Power’s linguistic nationalism. Let us add that several important works by Stanislaw Ossowski have been published in English translations. However, as I lack Mao’s courage and poetic talent, I will continue to ask my questions in the language of non-poetical prose. Still, before proceeding with this, it should also be explained that Father Prof. Waldemar Chrostowski, an outstanding Polish Bible scholar and a high official of the Catholic Church, in his incisive review voices an opinion of Izabela Jaruzelska’s attitude to Marxism radically different from Dr. Moore’s. Namely, Father Professor Chrostowski writes that the major failure of her book on the officialdom of the ancient Israel is the “total overlooking of the achievements of the Marxist Biblical criticism,” and particularly of the works of Norman K. Gottwald (Chrostowski, 1999: 8–9). Let us ask then: Who turns out to be more open to different modes of thinking? Whose approach is more objective and closer to the idea of the freedom of thought and learning and to the idea of democracy? Is it the approach of the Polish or of the American Bible scholar? Who is further away from ideological and political bias, Dr. Moore or Father Professor Chrostowski? Another long “outdated” scholar, the Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–1859), a great master of young Marx, declared that freedom may exist not only in the American type of democracy, and that democracy is sometimes associated with a tendency toward the “tyranny of the majority” (cf. Tocqueville, 1840, 1948): is this idea indeed absolutely “outdated”?
Burke, Tocqueville, Tönnies, Durkheim, Troeltsch, Scheler, Simmel, Weber, Pareto, the great Protestant theologian Paul Tillich, and Father Bochenski—are they Marxists if they recommend or apply in their research practice, without particular methodological sermons, Marx’s historical materialism as a heuristic tool, or an interim instrument, and a prefatory description and account of the empirical reality? Is the fact that historical materialism appeared in periods before and contemporary with Karl Marx, unknown to the author of the review in question (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 75–97)? The Greek and Roman historians, Plato and Aristotle, St. Augustine and St. Thomas, A. Smith and H. Spencer—were they Marxists because they were more expert than the later Marxists, and in some instances than Marx himself, at applying historical materialism as a heuristic rule and a research method?
Sharp Conceptual Distinctions: The Upper and the Lower Classes vs. the Ideology of the Entire World
Is it a sign of “the updated mode of thought” when Dr. Moore claims that when studying the ancient world, one must not distinguish sharply between the phenomenon of ownership and the right of property, between direct and indirect production, and between the higher and the lower classes?
The ban on distinguishing clearly between ownership as a component of the economy and the social life of people on the one hand and the right of property on the other has been “outdated” since the very beginning of sociology, or since the times of A. Comte, H. Spencer, K. Marx and M. Weber. It was superseded even earlier, in the light of the sacred books of the world’s great religions, the historical thought and literature. R. Dahrendorf introduced the distinction between a sociological and a formal-and-legal comprehension of ownership a long time ago. Now it is applied by the contemporary juridical thought. The neoclassical, donative theory of ownership does not deny that the formal-and-legal categories and ideologies have manifold cognitive values; it merely classifies them as heuristic categories. Heuristic concepts should be the starting point of research, not its end. A ban on a sharp distinction between direct and indirect production was considered obsolete as early as in Plato’s times. The “genuine Christian among pagans,” as St. Augustine called Plato, distinguished sharply and clearly between such direct producers as peasants, hired workers, artisans, and slaves working on farms and in mines on the one hand, and such indirect producers as merchants, stallkeepers, supervisors of manual workers, accountants, pre-engineers and pre-architects on the other. Is it really impossible in the context of the ancient world to distinguish such means of direct production as arable land, a spade, an ox, an ass or another beast of burden, from such means of indirect production as a pair of scales, a stall, a merchant’s caravan, the records of income on papyrus or clay tablets, a debtor’s liabilities, or mathematical calculations necessary for the construction of a public edifice, a dam, a dike or a temple?
Is the division of social classes into the higher and the lower ones, which, as M. Weber would say, presupposes the ethics and ideology of the entire world, a characteristic of the modern sociological thought? Woe to a mode of thinking into which a microsociological analysis puts the fear of God, and which applies only the macrosociological dichotomy, as coarse as an ancient peasant’s shirt! Woe to a mode of thinking that chooses to be blind to the existence, both in the antiquity and in the present, of not only a higher and a lower class, but also of the highest and a lowest one!
For sociological neoclassicism, differences in the structure of economic ownership and social division of labour are both a necessary and sufficient condition of the existence of social classes. Socio-economic ownership and division of labour as an objective criterion of class existence does not exclude the study of the relations between such classes and the various ways of putting into practice and conceiving of their superiority and inferiority, or in which they elevate themselves and abase their fellow humans. By no means does sociological neoclassicism limit its analyses to an absolute, one-dimensional and arbitrary concept of a social and economic superiority and inferiority. According to sociological neoclassicism, the reduction of all differences of property and labour to classes and nothing else amounts to a sin called panclassism. Both in the contemporary society and in the antiquity, there are and were not only classes, but also estates, para-classes or quasi-classes, para-estates or quasi-estates, and subclasses (cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1998: 195–217). The significance of the modern estates, active in the extra-economic institutions, and their varying independence of classes, has been emphasized by K. Marx and M. Weber as well as such contemporary sociologists as Don K. Price and Daniel Bell. Price defines the four essential estates of a modern society: the scientists, the professionals, the administrators and the politicians (Price, 1961). Developing this idea, D. Bell writes in the latest edition of his famous treatise on post-industrial society about: (1) the scientific estate; (2) the technological estate; (3) the professional estate; (4) the administrative estate; and (5) the cultural (artistic and religious) estate. Yet, puzzlingly enough, he classifies all of these social estates as parts of the single “professional class” (cf. Bell, 1999: 375–376). Is it because it is so hard to liberate oneself from panclassism, even if in the introduction, written in 1999, one announces the death of the class? Incidentally, despite his latter statement, the author refers in the same introduction, when discussing the present, to the categories of “the managerial class,” “the knowledge class,” “the professional class” and “the educated class” (Bell, 1999: LXIV–LXIX).
Sharp Conceptual Distinctions vs. the Ideal (Classic) Types
Dr. Moore accuses Professor Jaruzelska of applying excessively sharp conceptual distinctions because he himself uses “outdated” macrosociological categories. His objection was in fact “outdated” as early as in Plato’s days, and certainly in the times of Hegel, Spencer, Marx, Durkheim and M. Weber. All those scholars agreed that thinking in terms of ideas, ideal forms and classic or ideal types is a characteristic of theoretical thought and a valid method of research. Ideas, ideal forms and classic or ideal types, rather than being arbitrary abstract notions, express such situations and relations of the empirical reality in which ideas and concepts approximate the reality to the highest degree, and reproduce its certain aspects with the most fidelity. In such situations, they are also the most independent of the impact of other components of the empirical reality. Ideas and classic or ideal types are equivalents of the reality which an experiment helps create in the natural science, and accounts of very dynamic and short-lived situations which may be described as appearing in the social-and-historical quasi-experiment.
In Athens, there was a sharp and marked difference between the ideal type of the class of people whose labour power (in Greek: ergodynamis) was not the object of alien socio-economic ownership, or the pure class of free proprietors, and the class of people who did not even own their own labour power. The pure class of free proprietors comprised a varying number of rich owners of land and slaves, free peasants, artisans, merchants, hired workmen etc. The slaves, deprived of both the ownership of the means of production and the ownership of their ergodynamis, and even of their whole personalities, represented the ideal type of a class deprived of any socio-economic ownership. If, however, one wishes to investigate in more detail the economic structures of ownership in Athens in various periods of its history and at various junctures of the functioning and evolution of this structure, one must not confine oneself to these ideal macrotypes. Instead, one must devise a whole series of transitions from macrosociological to microsociological categories and vice versa. What at a certain moment of research was a collection of microsociological categories may turn into a collection of macrosociological categories at another time. Thus, we acquire an increasingly both exact and general knowledge of the ownership relations and their effect on the extra-economic reality of the ancient Athens, and on the effect of the non-economic institutions and events on the class structure of this Greek community. Thence, one must divide the class of free proprietors as sharply as possible into the classes of rich land owners, independent free farmers, artisans, merchants, hired workers etc. Within the class of the non-owners of their own ergodynamis (labour power), we notice the classes of slaves, serfs, indebted peasants, peasants forced to be tenants of land etc. The class of slaves, in turn, will evolve from a social macroclass into a profusion of microclasses if one distinguishes sharply between a slave who does not own any material means of production, or, to use a Weberian phrase, means of procurance, and a slave who owns the means of his agricultural work, craft or trade, or a slave who buys other slaves to employ them in his workshop. We may introduce into the analysis further elements that differentiate ownership and labour position of individuals inside the great class of slaves. This will reveal the sharp distinctions between the class of slaves-direct producers and the classes of slaves-supervisors and overseers of human labour, among the various classes of slaves who are direct or indirect producers and the slaves belonging to different social estates, e.g., slaves-police officers, slaves-teachers, slaves-artists and slaves-employees of the institutions of political administration.
Another benefit of the transition from the relationally macrosociological to the relationally microsociological categories is that it may settle the issue of the so-called heterogeneous types of ownership differentiation. Thus, an Athenian statesman who is also a rich owner of land or money, may be non-arbitrarily classified as a member of a dynamically and functionally defined estate or class if one applies such criteria as the amount of his income, the amount of time that he devotes to political or economic activity, the epoch of his individual life etc. A neoclassical analysis does not consist in confining itself to microsociology only and distinguishing a maximum number of classes in the social-and-historical reality. It also allows one to reduce the microclasses in a non-arbitrary manner to relatively few social macroclasses and macroestates. A paragon of the application of a dynamical, functional and relational macrosociological and microsociological analysis may be found in Max Weber’s treatise published in English as The Agrarian Sociology of Ancient Civilizations (cf. Weber, 1976).
For theoretical sociology, a detailed knowledge of the class-and-estate structure of the ancient Greece is not a goal in itself or a pursuit of a long-“outdated” aim. This information may allow one, e.g., to identify the sharp qualitative differences between the ancient slavery and the systems of slave labour developed by Hitlerism and Stalinism. Having done which, one may ask whether the word “slavery,” inherited form the ancient Greece and Rome, appropriately describes all of the homicidal and revolting particularity and novelty of the property-and-labour relations in German concentration camps and the Soviet Gulag of Stalin’s epoch.
The Heuristic Veracity of the Old Theories vs. the Ideology of Progress and Modernity
Sociological neoclassicism does not accept the notion of an absolute obsoleteness of a valid and well-constructed old theory or of an empirical analysis made long ago. Just like great works of art, all such theories preserve their eternal validity and cognitive-and-heuristic modernity forever, even after they have entirely lost their objective material truth due to changes in the world. If a theory advanced in the antiquity or in the 19th century and postulating that the relation of a creditor to a debtor is a form of the creditor’s participation in the debtor’s socio-economic property, whether favourable for the latter or not, was true, then it will retain its heuristic value even after all the creditors and debtors, banks and indebted nations have disappeared from the world or a country. This is because such a theory will become a priceless ideal type, a priceless tool of the discovery and description of the newest newness and the most modern modernity. Such an old theory would describe a world that has been radically transformed by new Solons.
Dr. Moore claims that Chapter 5 of I. Jaruzelska’s books reveals blatantly ideological presuppositions. Is it because this chapter includes an attempt at a positive overcoming of some types of ideological thought, which are still present in the latest social science? An example of such thought is the reduction of all the factors of ownership differentiation to physical things or— to use a Weberian phrase—material means of procurance (production), a reduction which is a ubiquitous feature of all analyses, whether Marxist, anti-Marxist or non-Marxists, as well as of the legal dogmatics. This approach overlooks such objects of ownership as the human body, human beings and their spiritual and physical abilities and skills, necessary in order to perform certain types of work and various actions other than work. After all, it has been said that man shall not live by work alone! According to sociological neoclassicism, the ownership of ergodynamis, also designated as labour power by the classics of social science long before Marx, and, less fortunately, as the human capital, cultural capital, social capital, genetic capital, linguistic capital, etc., by otherwise eminent and up-to-date scholars, constitutes a determining factor of the class and estate division as significant as the ownership of physical things and money. Inalienable features of the ownership of ergodynamis are objects of ownership that are as important in the modern world as they were in the antiquity: education, cultivation, upbringing, qualifications, experience, talent etc.
Another type of the ideological thought about the social world is dogmatism, which transforms such legal and fictitious persons as “the state,” “the Church” or “the monarch” from useful temporary research instruments into actual metaphysical beings. Vilfredo Pareto was among the first scholars to identify the uncritical use of formal-and-legal beings as a symptom of this type of ideology, which he called “derivations.”
In fact, Chapter 5 of I. Jaruzelska’s book is an attempt at establishing what type of the ownership, or rather of the co-ownership of real individuals, the “physical persons” of the Polish law, is designated by the notions of the property of the State, of the king or of Yahweh—notions replete with ideological connotations. Why does the reviewer call ideological presuppositions the effort to liberate the concept of the ownership of the means of production from the archaic model that limited this type of ownership to the small- and medium-scale property of a peasant, an artisan or a merchant, the effort underlying Jaruzelska’s book? Why does he think that comprehending the property of the State, of the king, of the Church or of a large corporation as a collection of forms of the socialization of individuals and of social-and-historical relations rather than as a sensory-and-physical relations, is an indication of “outdated” ideological presuppositions rather than of an “updated” scholarly analysis?
Apparently M. S. Moore attempts to expose the author of the book as a “wild, common and godless Marxist” by ascribing to her the mode of thinking, representative of the “Marxist analysis,” based on the rule: “If some cops are bad, then all cops, all the ‘class of cops’ must be bad.” Focusing on the types of the co-ownership of the means of production and labour power (ergodynamis) encountered in the ancient Israel, Professor Jaruzelska emphasizes that the prophet Amos censures bitterly a certain group of officials, responsible for supervising the royal food stores, accusing them of attaining wealth by means of violence, deceit and extortion. Dr. Moore is right when he notices that it may only be inferred from Amos’s words that a certain number of members of a certain social class need not but could have participated in the relations of co-ownership of public means of procurance based on violence and extortion. Yet, the author of the book is primarily interested in the ideal type rather than the average or prevailing type of this relation of co-ownership. Thence, M. S. Moore’s otherwise very true statement that Amos’s criticism must have referred only to selected and few representatives of this class of officials, must not be accepted as a convincing exposure of the presence of ideological presuppositions in I. Jaruzelska’s book.
Let us imagine ourselves more radical than Dr. Moore, and suppose that among the officials castigated so severely, although by the prophet Amos rather than by Izabela Jaruzelska, only three were not righteous, unlike in the Cities of the Plain, Sodom and Gomorrah, where even three righteous citizens could not be found. By no means will this invalidate the ideal type of co-ownership of the royal, public means of production in the broad sense of the latter word, a type that Amos has helped us develop. The heuristic veracity of the type will actually increase if we identify strong empirical evidence that violence and extortion have been and are common in certain ancient and contemporary systems. At the same time, they need not be characteristic of a class or of a majority of it, and may only be short-lived and occasional, encountered frequently among a minority of a class or estate and during short periods that however constitute crucial breakthroughs for the history of a whole society. Is it not how the smaller and bigger oligarchies of wealth, power and social esteem have emerged in the ancient and contemporary world?
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