Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Daniel Elazar Papers Index

The Idea of Covenant

Covenant as a Political Concept

The Covenant Tradition in Politics, Volume 1, Chapter 1

Daniel J. Elazar

Covenant and the Purposes of Politics

Human, and hence scholarly, concern with politics focuses on three general themes: 1) the pursuit of political justice to achieve the good political order; 2) the search for understanding of the empirical reality of political power and its exercise; and 3) the creation of an appropriate civic environment through political society and political community capable of integrating the first two to produce a good political life. Political science as a discipline was founded and has developed in pursuit of those three concerns. In the course of that pursuit, political scientists have uncovered or identified certain architectonic principles, seminal ideas, and plain political truths which capture the reality of political life or some significant segment of it, and relate that reality to the larger principles of justice and political order and to very practical yet normative civic purposes.

Covenant is one of the major recurring principles of political import which informs and encompasses all three themes -- an idea which defines political justice, shapes political behavior, and directs humans toward an appropriately civic synthesis of the two in their effort to manage political power. As such, covenant is an idea whose importance is akin to natural law in defining justice and to natural right in delineating the origins and proper constitution of political society. While somewhat eclipsed in political science since the shift to organic and then positivistic theories of politics which began in the mid-nineteenth century, it persists as a factor shaping political behavior in those civil societies whose foundations are grounded in the effort to translate that idea into political reality and in others searching for a means to build a democratic order on federalist rather than Jacobin principles. In the present crisis of transition from the modern to the post-modern eras, covenant is resurfacing as a significant political force just as it did in the transition from the late medieval to the modern era which took place from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries.1

Like any great idea, covenant and its related terms are often used as slogans. Such use, while in itself often trivializing, testifies to the seminal character of covenant as a concept, since every truly great idea must rest on so simple a core that it can become a slogan. But sloganeering should not obscure the more profound dimensions of covenant which requires sophisticated analysis and understanding if the concept is to be used properly for political invention and action.

Covenant can be studied in three dimensions: as a form of political conceptualization and mode of political expression; as a source of political ideology; and as a factor shaping political culture, institutions, and behavior. As a form of political conceptualization covenant shapes the way in which people look at the world and understand the nature of politics and civil society. The covenantal world view is one of the two or three "mother" world views shared by humanity. It is by no means far-fetched to assume that basic to every personality, as it is formed by both nature and culture, is a world view that is either hierarchical, organic, or covenantal in orientation.

The uses of covenant demonstrate how political conceptualization and expression go hand in hand. Thus, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Swiss and the Dutch, the Scots and the English Puritans not only conceived of civil society in covenantal terms, but actually wrote national covenants to which loyal members of the body politic subscribed. Similar covenants were used in the founding of many of the original colonies in British North America. Covenantal thinking was the common mode of political conceptualization and expression during the American Revolution, where it was reflected in any number of constitutional documents.2 More recently, such examples as the call for a social contract in England to create a new set of relationships between labor and management and the covenant inaugurated on the Boston Common by the city's major religious groups in 1979 to bring racial peace to that city are but two of many examples of the tendency of those within a covenantal culture area to turn to covenantal forms for political conceptualization and mode of political expression.3

As a source of political ideology, covenant shapes the world views or perspectives of whole societies, defining their civil character and political relationships, and serving as a touchstone for testing the legitimacy and often even the efficiency of their political institutions and those who must make them work. To take a "dark" case, the Afrikaners of South Africa built the ideology sustaining their tribalism around the covenant one party of them made with God before a battle with the Zulus at the time of the Great Trek. Their national day is called the Day of the Covenant and their national shrine is designed to celebrate that day. Until recently their national leaders invoked that covenant to justify their policies toward non-whites and implicitly asked to be judged by it.4

Perhaps most important of all is the role of covenant as a factor in shaping political culture, institutions, and behavior. This factor is the most difficult to measure and yet is operationally the most significant dimension of covenant.

The power of covenant and the covenant principle flows less from its conception and systematic presentation as philosophy (and certainly not from its reduction to the level of ideology) than from the way it informs culture, especially political culture, endowing particular peoples with a particular set of political perceptions, expectations, and norms and shaping the way in which those perceptions, expectations and norms are given institutional embodiment and behavioral expression. To take one example, there is every reason to believe that the idea of separation of powers, especially among equals as distinct from the separation of powers among different classes of unequals is a product of covenantal political culture, and that its various institutional expressions reflect that political culture. Where the same institutions have been introduced into political systems serving people with a different political culture, they have worked in opposite ways from those for which they were intended.

This is in no way better reflected than in the differences between the separation of powers system of the United States where President, Congress, and the Supreme Court interact in creative tension to balance one another, and similar systems in Latin America which are modeled institutionally on the U.S. Constitution but which have been imposed upon a radically different political base. Lack of a covenantal political culture in Latin America with its sense of consent rather than force as the basis of political life, of limitations on the use of power, sharing among partners to advance the common good while preserving their respective integrities, and abiding by the rules of the game is both a response to and a generator of circumstances which lead to the abuse or the distortion of the institutional framework.

All the evidence points to the existence of certain covenantal peoples whose political cultures are informed by covenantal and related concepts, which in turn influence their political institutions and behavior. Those peoples emerged out of two nuclear concentrations. The first was at the western edge of southwest Asia some three to four thousand years ago, in what was once known as the fertile crescent, especially in what is today Israel and in surrounding Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The second was in north-western Europe, especially in Switzerland and in a band stretching from up the Rhine River Valley through western Germany, eastern France, Belgium, the Netherlands, across the North Sea to Scotland and western Scandinavia, and the eastern coast of England. They subsequently settled and shaped various "new worlds" in North America, southern Africa and Australasia.

Out of these covenantal peoples emerged Judaism and Christianity with their biblical covenantal base, reformed Protestantism with its federal theology, federalism as a political principle and arrangement, the modern corporation, civil societies based upon interlocking voluntary associations, and almost every other element that reflects social organization based upon what has loosely been called "contract" rather than "status." Moreover, these covenantal peoples seem to have internalized a covenantal approach to life, to a greater or a lesser extent. The Swiss, for example, are a federal people through and through (that is to say, they seek a fair bargain which they are then willing to fulfill in the most complete way), whether they are dealing with their political system or with the way in which they serve customers in their resorts. Americans have many of the same qualities, although in a softer and less sharply defined way. Studying the linkages between political culture, institutions and behavior and the way in which those linkages have occurred in various political communities and societies is a major intellectual challenge.

The Idea of Covenant

A covenant is a morally-informed agreement or pact based upon voluntary consent, established by mutual oaths or promises, involving or witnessed by some transcendent higher authority, between peoples or parties having independent status, equal in connection with the purposes of the pact, that provides for joint action or obligation to achieve defined ends (limited or comprehensive) under conditions of mutual respect which protect the individual integrities of all the parties to it. Every covenant involves consenting (in both senses of thinking together and agreeing) and promising. Most are meant to be of unlimited duration, if not perpetual. Covenants can bind any number of partners for a variety of purposes but in their essence they are political in that their bonds are used principally to establish bodies political and social.

The definition of covenant in law as a binding promise is a straightforward statement of a concept of far-reaching importance in the relations between individual groups and peoples. In modern law, covenant is defined as "a promise or agreement under consideration, or guarantee between two parties, and the seal or symbol of guarantee is that which distinguishes covenant from modern contract." Theopolitically, "a covenant is a promise that is sanctioned by an oath..." accompanied by an appeal to a deity or deity to 'see' or 'watch over' the behavior of the one who has sworn and to punish any violation of the covenant by bringing into action the curses stipulated or implied in the swearing of the oath." For a theological or political significance, "the oath was usually accompanied by a ritual or symbolic act."5

Thus two words used as synonyms for brit in the Bible are shevuah and alah. The first means oath and the second is used as a synonym for covenant but has its origins in the word for cursed. This reflects the way in which a covenant embodies mutual oath-taking. The oath-taking basis of covenanting is even more pronounced in the medieval Latin term for confederacy, coniuratio, with iuratio the Latin term for oath. This may be a translation of the German eidgenossenschaft from eid, the German word for oath.

The covenant idea, with its derivatives and cognates, offers a particular orientation to the great questions of politics in theory and practice. Perhaps the clearest indication of this special orientation is to be found in Thomas Hobbes' translation of the principles of natural law into what he called articles of peace, i.e., the articles of the original civil covenant.6 In its theological form, covenant embodies the idea that relationships between God and humanity are based upon morally-sustained compacts of mutual promise and obligation. God's covenant with Noah (Genesis 9), which came after Noah had hearkened fully to God's commands in what was, to say the least, an extremely difficult situation, is the first of many such examples.

In its political form, covenant expresses the idea that people can freely create communities and polities, peoples and publics, and civil society itself through such morally grounded and sustained compacts (whether religious or civil in impetus), establishing thereby enduring partnerships. In its more poetic (but, for the Bible, no less serious) forms, covenant has even been used to describe relations between God and nature, man and nature, and the various elements of nature.7 In all its forms, the key focus of covenant is on relationships. A covenant is the constitutionalization of a relationship. As such, it provides the basis for the institutionalization of that relationship but it would be wrong to confuse the order of precedence.

It is possible that covenant ideas emerged spontaneously in various parts of the world. If, indeed, covenant thinking is rooted in human nature as well as nurture, it is to be expected that some people everywhere would be oriented toward the idea somehow. In the course of this book we will explore some examples of such spontaneous developments outside of what became the covenantal mainstream: Scandinavian oath-pacts, Beduin and American Indian tribal confederacies, and the Hungarian national covenant, to mention a few. In fact, it is not sufficient for random individuals or even groups to be disposed to it for an idea to take root and spread. Somehow a culture of civilization must emerge which embodies and reflects that idea.

The first such civilization and the most influential was that of ancient Israel, located on the western edge of southwest Asia, whose people transformed and perfected a device originally developed among the Amorite and Hittite peoples who inhabited the area.8 The first known uses of covenant were the vassal treaties through which the lesser rulers and their domains through pacts secured by oath before the respective deities involved. These international or intra-imperial pacts laid out the form which covenants have taken ever since, which included five elements: historical prologue indicating the parties involved, a preamble stating the general purposes of the covenant and the principles behind it, a body of conditions and operative clauses, a stipulation of the agreed-upon sanctions to be applied if the covenant were violated, and an oath to make the covenant morally binding. Often a sixth element was included as well, provisions for depositing the covenant document and of periodic public reaffirmation or recovenanting. These first covenants simultaneously established the political purposes and moral bases for covenanting. This is as true for ancient Hittite vassal treaties, the covenants of biblical Israel, the Scottish national covenant of the seventeenth century, and the Declaration of the Independence of the United States of America, to name but four examples.

Either parallel to or derived from these ancient vassal covenants there emerged domestic political and religious usages of covenant. The two were connected in the Bible to form the classic foundation of the covenant tradition.9 God's covenant with Israel established the Jewish people and founded it as a body politic while at the same time creating the religious framework which gave that polity its raison d'etre, its norms, and its constitution, as well as the guidelines for developing a political order based upon proper, that is to say, covenantal relationships.

Biblical adaptation of the forms of the vassal covenants involved a transformation of purpose and content so great as to mean a difference in kind, not merely degree. A covenant was used to found a people, making their moral commitment to one another far stronger and enduring than that of a vassal to an imperial overlord. The Bible draws a distinction between "sons of the covenant," bnai brit in Hebrew, and "masters of the covenant," or ba'alei brit. Bnai brit is used where the covenant has created a new entity whose partners are bound together as sons within a family. The covenant that unites and forms the Jewish people in the biblical account makes all Jews bnai brit (as the organization of that name indicates). On the other hand, where the term used is ba'alei brit, it is essentially an international treaty. It does not create a new entity, but establishes a relationship of peace and mutual ties between quite separate entities who remain outside of the limited purpose pact.

This new form of covenant was not simply witnessed by heaven, but brought God in as a partner, thus informing it with religious value and implication for the Israelites, who saw no distinction between its religious and political dimensions. The covenant remained a theo-political document with as heavy an emphasis on the political as could be. The strong political dimension reflected God's purpose in choosing one people to be the builders of a holy commonwealth which could be a model for all others.

It was only later with the rise of Christianity and the beginning of the long exile of the Jews from their lands that covenant took on a more strictly religious character for some, in which the political dimension was downplayed, if not downright ignored by Christian theologians, on the one hand, and diminished by Jewish legists on the other. Christianity embraced the covenant idea as one of the foundations, reinterpreting the old biblical covenant establishing a people at a polity as a covenant of grace between God and individual humans granted or mediated by Jesus.10 Jewish legists simple took the basic covenantal framework of Judaism for granted and concentrated on the fine points of the law as applied to daily living or the expected Messianic redemption.11

Within the Jewish world, the political dimension of covenanting received new impetus in the eleventh century to provide a basis for constituting local Jewish communities throughout Europe. That effort ran parallel to the establishment of municipal corporations throughout that continent which were legitimized by royal charter, usually negotiated between the municipality and the throne.12 While these efforts found some expression in political thought, it was really not until the Reformation that covenant re-emerged as a central category, first in political theology and then in political philosophy.

It was at this time that the covenant idea emerged as a powerful force in the second major cultural area, that of western and, most particularly, northwestern Europe. What cultural predispositions lay behind the receptivity of the peoples of that culture area to covenant as a concept remain to be uncovered, if they can be. It cannot be an accident that the federal theology emerged simultaneously in the sixteenth century in four separate places in Switzerland (Zurich, Basel, Berne, and Geneva), where confederal political arrangements had been dominant since the late thirteenth century.13

Reformed Protestantism turned on the covenant concept and its spokesmen and churches embraced it with relish, finding in it the most appropriate expression of their theological ideas and expectations for church and civil polity alike. The federal theology which they articulated (federal is derived from the Latin foedus, which means covenant) stimulated the renewed political application of the covenant idea which was given expression first by political theologians and then by political philosophers such as Althusius and in the next century was secularized by Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza.14 By the late seventeenth century, the concept had come full circle with its political dimension having taken on an independent life of its own.15

The connections between covenant and natural law go back to the seventeenth century philosophic revolution of Hobbes, Locke, and Spinoza which transformed ancient natural law into modern natural law or natural right. Partisans of classic political philosophy view this transformation as a betrayal, gutting, or simple falsification of both classical and medieval natural law theories. Leo Strauss has made the strongest case for this view in Natural Right and History.16 In one sense, they are quite correct. However, it is possible to look upon the transformation in another way, namely the covenantalization of political philosophy. That is to say, the recognition of the power of the philosophic tradition in shaping the idealized frameworks of western man which had led to an intolerable gap between ideal and reality in everyday life and therefore the necessity to reconstitute the natural law idea within a new system derived from very different premises. That indeed is what Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, among others, try to do. The end result was modern liberal democracy.

Hobbes and Spinoza are the two most important figures in this process. The great student of medieval philosophy, Harry Austryn Wolfson, has made a strong case for the thesis that medieval philosophy began with Philo and ended with Spinoza.17 We all know that medieval philosophy is, mainly, a synthesis of biblical and Greco-Roman intellectual systems. What Philo did was to take the biblical outlook and integrate it into the Greco-Roman systems; i.e. covenant thought into natural law philosophy, to set a pattern followed by the Church Fathers, the great Catholic and Islamic philosophers, and even Jewish and Protestant thinkers prior to the seventeenth century. Spinoza, in essence, reversed the process. He knocked the props out from under the edifice of medieval philosophy in an effort to replace it with a new secular modernism. Whatever his intentions, in his effort to create an entirely new system, what we have come to call modern thought, he opened the door for the resurrection of the primacy of covenantal thinking. While it certainly cannot be said that, in undoing Philo's syntheses, he desired to make biblical thought supreme, he did open the way for the major political product of the Bible, the covenant idea, to flourish once again.

So, too, with Hobbes, another unabashed modern who controlled the expression of his new system only in so far as he believed it politic to do so. Hobbes, like Spinoza, set out to undermine ancient philosophy and replace it with a modern ideational system, but in doing so, he had to directly confront Scripture and so reestablished the possibility of covenantal thought. That indeed was the first consequence of his effort, one which persisted for some two centuries and which again calls to us today.

From northwestern Europe, covenantally grounded civilization spread to the new worlds opened by northwestern European colonization. Such covenantal societies ranged from the United States settled by the covenanters from the British Isles in the early seventeenth to South Africa settled by people from the religio-culturally covenantal Netherlands in the late seventeenth to New Zealand settled by British in the nineteenth. Where settlers from those traditions were dominant, new peoples were established by covenant and they in turn created constitutions which concretized the covenantal dimension through a network of political institutions.

In the late eighteenth century, the American Revolution translated the concept of covenant into a powerful instrument of political reform but only after merging it with the more secularized idea of compact. American constitutionalism is a product of that merger.18

Covenant, Natural Law, and Constitutionalism

Thus, over the centuries, covenant, natural law, and constitutionalism became intertwined. When, for example, the Americans formally declared themselves an independent people in the Declaration of independence -- itself a covenant creating a new relationship based on natural law precepts -- they then saw constitution- making as a way of further covenanting or compacting together in order to create civil instruments designed to carry out the promises of the Declaration.19 The resulting state and federal constitutions were seen as compacts embodying the principles of natural law, especially in their bills of rights. The propriety of subsequent legislation was, therefore, to be judged in light of its "constitutionality," or in other words, its conformity to both natural law and covenants, one step removed.

Normally, then, a covenant precedes a constitution and establishes the people or civil society which then proceeds to adopt a constitution of government for itself. Thus a constitution involves the implementation of a prior covenant -- an effectuation or translation of a prior covenant into an actual frame or structure of government. The constitution may include a restatement or reaffirmation of the original covenant as does the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 in its preamble:

The body-politic is formed by a voluntary association of individuals: It is a social compact, by which the whole people covenants with each citizen with the whole people, that all shall be governed by certain laws for the common good.
But that is optional.

Covenant relationships have often been compared to marriages in their permanency, promissory trust, mutuality of responsibility, and respect for the integrity of each partner within the community created by wedding (an ancient Anglo-Saxon term for sealing a contract). The analogy also highlights the way in which covenant links consent and kinship. In the biblical-covenantal view of marriage, two independent and otherwise unrelated persons unite to become "one flesh" and establish a family.

In politics, covenant connotes the voluntary establishment of a people and body-politic. Again, the American Declaration is an excellent example. The diverse inhabitants of the thirteen colonies consented, through their new state and general government institutions, to become a people. It was not without reason, therefore, that Abraham Lincoln fondly described the union created by that act as "a regular marriage,"20 The partners do not, of course, always live happily ever after, but they are bound by covenant to struggle toward such an end, a commitment will understood and made explicit by Lincoln during the Civil War. At the same time, covenants beget constitutions almost as a matter of course but also influence every dimension of constitutionalism.

Following Aristotle, every political system is delineated along three dimensions: its moral constitution, its socio-economic constitution, and its frame of government, which taken together link the two faces of politics.21

1) The moral basis of the constitution refers to the generally accepted ideas about how people in a particular polity should live. It includes the conception of justice which is held to be the guiding standard of the polity, the picture of the good polity in the minds of citizens, plus other opinions about what kinds of political and social actions are right and good. 2) The socio-economic basis of the constitution refers to the ways people actually live. In includes such things as class structure, ethnic composition, type of economy, and the actual distribution of power, in other words, who is important and influential and why. 3) The frame of government refers to the institutions and structures of government itself, including the document (or collection of documents) that sets out the institutions of government, establishes their powers and limits of those powers, and indicates who shall govern and how the governors shall be chosen.

Unlike many philosophic concepts, covenant addresses all three dimensions of the political system. It delineates the system's moral foundations, offers mechanisms for constructing the system's frame of government, and suggests a behavioral dynamic to shape the system's socio-economic basis.

Covenant, Compact, and Contract

Covenant is tied in an ambiguous relationship to two related terms, compact and contract. On one hand, both compacts and contracts are related to, and even may be derived from, covenant, and sometimes the terms are even used interchangeably. On the other hand, there are very real differences between the three which need clarification.

Both covenants and compacts differ from contracts in that the first two are constitutional or public and the last private in character. As such, covenantal or compactual obligation is broadly reciprocal. Those bound by one or the other are obligated to respond to each other beyond the letter of the law rather than to limit their obligations to the narrowest contractual requirements. Hence, covenants and compacts are inherently designed to be flexible in certain respects as well as firm in others. As expressions of private law, contracts tend to be interpreted as narrowly as possible so as to limit the obligation of the contracting parties to what is explicitly mandated by the contract itself. Contracts normally contain provisions for unilateral abrogation by one party or another under certain conditions (and with penalties where appropriate); compacts and covenants generally require mutual consent to be abrogated, designed as they are to be perpetual or of unlimited duration.

A covenant differs from a compact in that its morally binding dimension takes precedence over its legal dimension. In its heart of hearts, a covenant is an agreement in which a higher moral force, traditionally God, is either a direct party to, or guarantor of the particular relationship. Whereas, when the term compact is used, moral force is only indirectly involved. A compact, based as it is on mutual pledges rather than guarantees by or before a higher authority, rests more heavily on a legal though still ethical grounding for its politics. In other words, compact is a secular phenomenon.

This is historically verifiable by examining the shift in terminology that took place in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, reaching a climax in the American and French revolutions and their respective aftermaths. In the United States, the terms "covenant" and "compact" were used almost interchangeably until after 1791. In the British North American colonies the accepted term in the seventeenth century was covenant. Compact was introduced in the mid-eighteenth century as part of the spread of Enlightenment secular thought during the Revolutionary era. Those who saw the hand of God in political affairs in the United States continued to use the term covenant, while those who sought a secular grounding for politics turned to the term compact. While the distinction is not always used with strict clarity, it does appear consistently.22

The issue was further complicated by Rousseau and his followers who talk about the social contract, a highly secularized concept, which, even when applied for public purposes, never develops the same level of moral obligation as either covenant or compact. The Rousseaunian formulation had limited popularity in the United States but became the dominant terminology in revolutionary France, although it did share the field with the other two terms, particularly compact, especially in the early years of the Revolution. With the triumph of Jacobin ideas, which themselves are an outgrowth of Rousseaunian thought, the term contrat social swept the field.23

Covenant, then, is the oldest of several terms that deal with the formation of the political order through consent as manifested in a pact or an appropriate level of mutual binding. In the following chapter we will examine this idea of pact and consent in light of the other theories of political order.


1. See for example, G.H. Dodge, The Political Theory of the Huguenots of the Dispersion (New York: Octagon Books, 1947); E.J. Shirley, Richard Hooker and Contemporary Political Ideas (Naperville, Ill.: Allenson, 1949); R.H. Murray, The Political Consequences of the Reformation (New York: Russell and Russell, 1960); Christopher Hill, Intellectual Origins of the English Resolution (Oxford: New York University Press, 1965) and books listed in Appendix.

2. H.R. Niebuhr, "The Idea of Covenant and American Democracy" in Church History/23 (1954), pp. 126-135. Donald Lutz has collected most of the relevant documents in Documents of Political Foundation Written by Colonial Americans (Philadelphia: ISHI, 1986) and Charles Hyneman and Donald Lutz, editors, American Political Writing During the Founding Era, 1760-1805 (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1983), 2 vols.

3. See "Make the Symbol Appeal Everywhere" in The Boston Globe, December 17, 1979, p. 14. The Covenant Letter issued periodically by the Center for the Study of Federalism Workshop in Covenant and Politics regularly documents contemporary uses of covenant.

4. T.R.H. Davenport, South Africa, A Modern History, 3rd ed., (Johannesburg: Macmillan South Africa, 1989); W.A. de Klerk, The Puritans in Africa (London: Rex Collins Ltd., 1975); Leo Marquard, The Story of South Africa (London: Faber and Faber Ltd., 1966); and Marquard, A Federation of Southern Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1971).

5. Quotations are from George E. Mendenhall, "Covenant", Encyclopedia Britannica, 15th ed., Vol. 5, 1975, pp.226-230.

6. Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Chapters XIV and XV. See also Vincent Ostrom's discussion of Hobbes' articles of peace in his Leviathan and Democracy (forthcoming).

7. Daniel J. Elazar, "Covenant as the Basis of the Jewish Political Tradition", in The Jewish Journal of Sociology, Volume XX, No. 1 (June 1978), pp. 5-37.

8. See, for example, Delbert R. Hillers, Covenant, The History of a Biblical Idea (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Press, 1969).

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Gordon Freeman, "Rabbinic Conceptions of Covenant" in Daniel J. Elazar, ed., Kinship and Consent: The Jewish Political Tradition and its Contemporary Uses (Ramat Gan: Turtledove Publishing, 1981).

12. Menahem Elon, "Power and Authority in the Medieval Jewish Community" and Gerald Blidstein, "Individual and Community in the Middle Ages" in Ibid.

13. B. Bradfield, The Making of Switzerland (Zurich: Schwietzer Spiegel Verlag, 1964); Daniel J. Elazar and John Kincaid, eds., Federal Theology and Politics (forthcoming). Denis de Rougement, La Suisse (Lausanne: La Livre du Mois, 1965); William Martin, Histoire de la Suisse (Lausanne: Librairie Payot, 1943); and Walther ab Hohlenstien, Urschwiezer Bundesbrief (St. Gallen: Ausheferung Durch Das Staatsarchiv, 1956).

14. Thomas Hueglin, "Covenant and Federalism in the Politics of Althusius" in Daniel J. Elazar and John Kincaid, Covenant, Polity, and Constitutionalism(Lanham, Md.: Center for the Study of Federalism and University Press of America, 1980).

15. See Vincent Ostrom, "Hobbes, Covenant and Constitution" in Publius, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Fall 1980), pp. 83-100.

16. Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), Chap. V.

17. Harry Austryn Wolfson, Philo (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1947), Vol. II, Chap. XIV.

18. Edmund S. Morgan, Puritan Political Ideas, 1558-1794 (New York: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965), and de Klerk, op. cit. See Donald Lutz, "From Covenant to Constitution in American Political Thought," and Rozann Rothman, "The Impact of Covenant and Contract Theories in Conceptions of the U.S. Constitution" in Publius, vol. 10, no. 4 (Fall 1980).

19. Rothman, op. cit., and Daniel J. Elazar, The Declaration of Independence as a Covenant, a working paper of the Workshop in Covenant and Politics, Center for the Study of Federalism.

20. Daniel J. Elazar, "The Constitution, The Union, and the Liberties of the People," in Publius, Vol. 8, No. 3 (Summer 1978), pp. 141-175.

21. Cf. Norton Long, "Aristotle and the Study of Local Government," in The Polity, ed. Norton Long (Chicago: Rand McNally, 1962).

22. Cf. Donald Lutz, "From Covenant to Constitution."

23. Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution (New York: Knopf, 1989); Alexis de Tocqueville, Ancien Regime et la Revolution, translated by Stuart Gilbert (New York: Doubleday, 1955). See also Jean Jacques Rousseau, The Contrat Social.

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