Friday, January 09, 2015

This is radical

[T]he radical nature of the apostles’ reinterpretation emerges in that it does not, in the manner of Aristobulus, for example, consist of a simple substitution of numinous realities—“that which you call Zeus is really the God of Israel.” It thus has no affinity with ancient pluralism (in which, e.g., divine names can be only incidental to divine realities). Instead, it involves both a demolition of the pagan model in toto (worshipping Zeus is futile) and the call for a new construction of divine identity.—World Upside Down, page 23

<idle musing>
Given our monotheistic/atheistic culture with its secular/sacred distinction, I don't think we can fully comprehend just how radical an idea this was. It tore the fabric of society into pieces. The world order depended on the divine realm—multiple deities that needed to be kept happy. That was part of being a good citizen. It's even more radical than not saying the Pledge of Allegiance, or refusing to stand and sing the Star Spangled Banner (both of which I refuse to do and have gotten no small amount of flack for over the years...).

I'm at a loss as to what it compares to...every comparison I think of falls flat.
</idle musing>

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