By Guy G. Stroumsa
This booklet offers how historical Christianity has to be understood from the perspective of the background of religions in past due antiquity. The continuation of biblical prophecy runs like a thread from Jesus via Mani to Muhammad. And but this thread, arguably the only most crucial attribute of the Abrahamic circulation, frequently is still open air the mainstream, hidden, because it have been, because it generates heresy. The figures of the Gnostic, the holy guy, and the mystic are all sequels of the Israelite prophet. They replicate a method of religiosity that's characterised via excessive depth. it really is centripetal and activist through nature and emphasizes sectarianism and polemics, esoteric wisdom, or gnosis and air of mystery. the opposite mode of religiosity, evidently even more universal than the 1st one, is centrifugal and irenic. It favors an ecumenical angle, contents itself with a commonly shared religion, or pistis, and displays, in Weberian parlance, the routinization of the recent non secular stream. this can be the mode of monks and bishops, instead of that of martyrs and holy males. those major modes of faith, excessive as opposed to low depth, exist at the same time, and go the limits of spiritual groups. they provide a device allowing us to persist with the modifications of faith in overdue antiquity more often than not, and in historic Christianity specifically, with out turning into prisoners of the conventional different types of patristic literature. throughout the dialectical courting among those modes of religiosity, you can still stick with the complicated modifications of old Christianity in its wide non secular context.
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Additional info for The Making of the Abrahamic Religions in Late Antiquity
If so, then one god gets very close to no god at all. 26 This historical process of simplification can also be regarded as one of rationalization, and in a sense, this is what Max Weber referred to when speaking about the “disenchantment of the world” (Entzauberung der Welt). Rationalization means the constant simplification of the system of the universe, and hence the shrinking number, with time, of the divine powers in charge of it. In this paradigm, religious evolution usually takes place through revolution.
8 See for instance ch. 6 “Religious Dynamics between Jews and Christians”. 9 Cicero was quoting Thales of Miletus. Cf. Keith Hopkins, A World Full of Gods: The Strange Triumph of Christianity (New York: Plume, 2001). 10 See Albert I. Baumgarten, The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpretation, Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism, 55 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005). 11 The literature is of course immense. For two classics, see Géza Vermès, Jesus and the World of Judaism (London: SCM Press, 1983) and E.
By Wilmer C. : Harvard University Press, 1923), pp. 320–1. 27 W. Schmidt, Der Ursprung der Gottesidee: Eine historisch-kritische und positive Studie, 12 vols (Münster: Aschendorff, 1926–55); R. Pettazzoni, Dio: Formazione e sviluppo del monoteismo nella storia delle religioni, vol. 1: L’essere celeste nelle credenze dei popoli primitivi (Rome: Athenaeum, 1922). 28 Rom. 1: 23; cf. similar views in Islamic historiography. 29 On biblical monotheism, see for instance Fritz Stolz, Einfūhrung in den biblischen Monotheismus (Darmstadt: Wisssenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1996).
The Making of the Abrahamic Religions in Late Antiquity by Guy G. Stroumsa