Download Beyond Monotheism: A Theology of Multiplicity by Laurel Schneider PDF

By Laurel Schneider

Laurel Schneider takes the reader on a brilliant trip from the origins of ''the common sense of the One'' - just recently dubbed monotheism - via to the fashionable day, the place monotheism has more and more did not thoroughly tackle non secular, clinical, and moral studies within the altering international. partly I, Schneider lines a trajectory from the traditional historical past of monotheism and multiplicity in Greece, Israel, and Africa in the course of the Constantinian valorization of the good judgment of the only, to medieval and sleek demanding situations to that common sense in poetry and technological know-how. She pursues another and optimistic process partly II: a ''logic of multiplicity'' already resident in Christian traditions during which the complexity of lifestyles and the presence of God will be larger articulated. half III takes up the open-ended query of ethics from inside that multiplicity, exploring the results of this radical and reasonable new theology for the questions that lie beneath theological development: questions of belonging and nationalism, of the opportunity of love, and of solidarity. during this groundbreaking paintings of latest theology, Schneider indicates that the only isn't really misplaced in divine multiplicity, and that during spite of its abstractions, divine multiplicity is real looking and worldly, most unlikely eventually to abstract.

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Monotheism in this sense is the religious—or better yet, the ideological—aspect of a larger cultural framework that I call the logic of the One. And so, as a theological term, it is insufficient and misleading. It does not refer in any helpful way to divinity. But as a sociological and political term, that refers to what Ruggieri calls ‘‘self-interest with a justificatory veneer’’36 for the religious logic of the One, it has its uses and I will not throw it out completely, at least not yet. 3 ‘‘No god but me’’ The roots of monotheism in Israel I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

Israelite identity, in this period, became associated ineradicably with One-God worship practices. Fidelity and infidelity also became a standard metaphor and currency in Israelite identity, a move that continues to reverberate two and a half millennia later. The ongoing contributions of scholars like 32 The logic of the One Smith, Mach, Halperin, Assmann, and others demonstrate that the emergence of strong monotheism in Israel was both complex and multifaceted, but the significance of Israel’s political crises in the formation of what Pakkala calls ‘‘intolerant monolatry’’ cannot be underestimated in the challenge of thinking responsibly about monotheism’s entailments in theology today.

Non-Jews who did not have the benefit of a Greek education tended, by virtue of widespread beliefs in dualistic realms of powerful spirits or communal realms of shape-shifting powers, to make sense of the Jesus stories in those terms, while Jewish converts attempted to incorporate the stories into the historical struggles and obligations of the Mosaic covenant with God. Upper-class Hellenized Gentiles from across the Mediterranean and North African regions likewise sought to place the Jesus story within a familiar intellectual framework; in their case it was often the eternal platonic ideals at work in the teachings and story of Jesus’ resurrection.

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