Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The role of humanity

“ the realm of divine rule, the monotheism of Genesis inevitably results in a different description of the station of deity. The primordial waters are neither deified nor personified; nor are any other elements of the cosmos. Similarly, the Israelite view of deity results in a different understanding of functions in the cosmos. The God portrayed in Genesis 1 does not set up the cosmos to function for himself but for humanity alone, though his presence in the ordered cosmos is important for maintaining this order. Finally, the role and station of humanity in the cosmos is different. The archetypal presentation in Genesis relates people to God only through his image, thereby delegating to them a ruling role in the cosmos (not just over other people); furthermore, it views them as serving deity not by meeting his needs but by caring for sacred space. Thus, Israel shares with the rest of the ancient Near East the idea that cosmology deals with questions regarding human archetypes, but the archetype that is developed has a different shape entirely.” — Genesis 1 as Ancient Cosmology, pages 194-195

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