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The Mosaic distinction: Israel, Egypt, and…
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The Mosaic distinction: Israel, Egypt, and the invention of paganism

by Jan Assmann

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Quite a profound article envisioning (in the steps of Freud's Moses and Monotheism) the "Mosaic distinction" as the distinction between true and false religion--fundamental to monotheism--and thus the emergence of the Jewish religion as, in the ancient context, a "counterreligion," an Egyptian heresy (preceded by the lost monotheism established by the "Mad Pharaoh" Akhenaten) based not on idolatry, connection and universal oneness but on iconoclasm, separation, gradations of purity, oppositions, violent rejectionism, etc. And then, within the Jewish and Christian traditions, the attempts to reach back to Egypt as a mystic or revelatory source of knowledge to go with the exegetic or hermeneutic Scriptures. I know a bit about that, but the Mosaic origin story he sketches is new and interesting. Paper appeared in Representations. ( )
  MeditationesMartini | Oct 21, 2013 |
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