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The Book of Job and the Role of Uncertainty in Religion and Law

9 Pages Posted: 27 May 2009 Last revised: 9 Sep 2010

Steven Goldberg

Georgetown University - Law Center (Deceased)

Date Written: May 27, 2009


The Book of Job depicts the radical uncertainty that results when people try to comprehend God. Job has had an extraordinary influence on philosophy and literature, and its message on the limits of human knowledge has even been echoed in the words of great scientists. Surprisingly, however, it has had little influence on the rhetoric or approach of lawyers and judges. The legal profession, which confronts uncertain outcomes daily, has reduced uncertainty to a mundane calculation of odds, while ignoring the more fundamental idea of the unknown because that idea would paralyze legal work.

Keywords: Book of Job, uncertainty, Graham Greene, Werner Heisenberg, Charles Evans Whittaker

Suggested Citation

Goldberg, Steven, The Book of Job and the Role of Uncertainty in Religion and Law (May 27, 2009). Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 09-11. Available at SSRN: or

Steven Paul Goldberg (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center (Deceased)


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