Wednesday, 3 August 2016
Idolatry and Linguistic Narrowing III
Religion and Cultural Memory (tr. Rodney Livingstone),
Jan Assmann, Stanford University Press, 2006, page 79
Assmann now suggests that the reforms instituted by king Josiah, a form of narrowing, in which everything is concentrated on writing, continue:
One god, one people, one book, one temple, one medium ("you heard the sound of the words, but saw no form").
We can see the same unifying language being used by Rav Sha'ul in his letter to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 4:4-6 There is one body and one Spirit -- just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call -- one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Jan Assmann continues:
Only by excluding other media and concentrating on writing does the canon become the vessel of revelation and thereby the foundation of our sense of belonging in another world; and only with this final step, which condemns as idolatry our being at home in the world, does the canon become the instrument of radical change in the world.