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Practices of monitoring in the Old and New Testaments of the Judeo-Christian Bible have formed the foundations of Western conceptions of surveillance, security, and privacy. Although contemporary surveillance theorists may allude to instances of biblical surveillance, the concentrated study of this in a sociological context is an emerging phenomenon, often associated with the desire for a more robust ethical engagement with considerations of monitoring. This entry looks at the various forms of surveillance documented in biblical texts, with the most common form being spying. Types of monitoring, including self-examination and confession, are also discussed.

Dates vary for the historical accounts of surveillance cited in the biblical canon, with practices ranging across extensive temporalities and geographies, documented by a multiplicity of authors. These can be further subdivided ...

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