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Ancient Israelite Activists

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

It may be that ancient Israel was non-ecumenical, actively shaping themselves in contrast to their surroundings, but I suppose this element didn’t come of age until early Judaism when the exiled people were forced to survive without a nation in an alien world. I see them, before then, almost as activists, setting up the rules of their federation in protest against the monarchies and hierarchies nearby (Oxford Study Bible, pages 35-36), visionaries dreaming of some unknown alternative. Yet they were deeply influenced by the givens as well.

Said the Sluice Gate

January 21, 2011 Leave a comment

Ancient Israel was not ecumenical. Their whole mission was to keep from mixing with their surroundings, to preserve a distinct identity in the midst of shifting political currents, lodged as they were in a geographical corridor that lay between powers, a river of trade and influence whose forces threatened to wash them away.

I am ecumenical. This fundamental difference between me and the writers of my holy book seems just slightly problematic. Read more…