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By Jonathan P. Burnside / Sheffield Academic Press / 2003
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What makes one crime more serious than another, and why? This book investigates the problem of "seriousness of offence" in English law from the comparative perspective of biblical law. Burnside takes a semiotic approach to show how biblical conceptions of seriousness are synthesized and communicated through various descriptive and performative registers. Seven case studies show that biblical law discriminates between the seriousness of different offences and between the relative seriousness of the same offence when committed by different people—or when performed in different ways. Recurring elements include location and the offender's social statue. The closing chapter considers some of the implications for the current debate about crime and punishment.
Looking for the entire series?The Old Testament Law Collection (11 vols.) is now available!
Jonathan P. Burnsid is lecturer in Criminal Law at the University of Bristol, UK.