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Judaism. An Introduction to Key Ideas. God. Belief in a personal “Other” anthropomorphisms are symbolic, but . . . more like a person than a thing more like a mind than mere force This personalism focused in a single, supreme, transcendent being (as opposed to polytheism)

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judaism

Judaism

An Introduction to Key Ideas

slide2
God
  • Belief in a personal “Other”
    • anthropomorphisms are symbolic, but . . .
    • more like a person than a thing
    • more like a mind than mere force
  • This personalism focused in a single, supreme, transcendent being (as opposed to polytheism)
  • Yahweh and Henotheism
  • “Shema”: “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is One.” --Deuteronomy 6:4
  • A God of righteousness and love
creation the material world
Creation (The Material World)
  • The Material World is Created by God
  • Creation is Good (so are possessions, sex, food, etc.)
  • Humans, as the apex/end of creation, have dominion over it (Genesis 1:26)
  • Judeo-Christian Perspective:
    • Material aspects of life are important
    • Matter can participate in the condition of salvation
    • Nature “can host the divine” (H. Smith)
the human condition
The Human Condition
  • “A little lower than god (“the angels”/Elohim)--Psalm 8:5
  • People are “dust,” frail, like the grass

(Made “in God’s image,” mud infused with God’s breath)

  • Morally Free
  • Sinful
history is real history matters
History is Real; History Matters
  • Revelation: first in deeds, then in words
  • History is not cyclical, but linear (and teleological)
  • Nature is the site of purposeful divine activity
  • Social/historical context is important: shapes outcomes and possibilities
  • Community/collective action is important  “God’s Chosen People”/Covenant
  • History is a place of opportunity
  • Tensions between divine possibilities and human frustrations; i.e., religion should not buttress the status quo “Messianism”
ethics
Ethics
  • Honor God (and God’s nature)
  • Honor Parents
  • Don’t Murder
  • Don’t Commit Adultery
  • Don’t Steal
  • Don’t Give False Testimony
  • Don’t Covet
prophetic tradition let justice flow
Prophetic Tradition: Let Justice Flow
  • The future of a people depends on the justice of their society
  • Thus, individuals are responsible for their own dealings with others and for the general justice of society
  • Prophets
    • Prophetic Guilds (1 Samuel 9-10)
    • Individual Oral-Only Prophets (e.g., Nathan and Elijah)
    • Written prophets (e.g., Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel)
suffering
Suffering
  • May be punishment, corrective
  • May be redemptive
  • May be necessary for the righteous to suffer in order to change things in the world
  • We learn, and find meaning and beauty, in the midst of suffering
hallowing all of life
Hallowing All of Life
  • All of life, when considered from the proper vantage point, and approached in the proper way, can be sacred
  • Meals
  • Sex, marriage, family
  • Birth, Death
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