Thursday, April 22, 2021

A notion? Or a name?

I do not approve of the term the notion of God.” The God of Israel is a name, not a notion. There is a difference between a “name” and a “notion.” I am suggesting to you: don’t teach notions of God, teach the name of God. A notion applies to all objects of similar properties. A name applies to an individual. The name “God of Israel” applies to the one and only God of all men. A notion describes, defines; a name evokes. A notion is derived from a generalization; a name is learned through acquaintance. A notion you can conceive; a name you call. I even suggested that notions and the name of God of Israel are profoundly incompatible. All notions crumble when applied to Him.—Abraham Joshua Heschel in Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays, 162

No comments: