Cedars of Lebanon: Christian Mystery and Jewish Moral Drama
The power of the ethical is always more obvious in Judaism than in Christianity. The Hebrew consciousness has no need of taking refuge in Hellenic-Christian mystery, because for it the great mystery was consummated, the cosmic tragedy already resolved, when the one God created, out of chaos, heaven and earth and all that lives and moves thereon. The stability of the world is here set over against, and also above, chaos and all nothingness. Creation itself, God’s very idea of the world, guarantees this world. To ask God to consummate the cosmic mystery once more, this time in his very own person, would be irreverent—it would not fit the principle of divine infallibility.
A drama instead of mystery is given to man, to each man and to all humanity as the bearer of the divine idea. The moral drama, the ethical act, and not the drama of a single god-man, becomes the central point of life. The main intent of the Israelitic religious cult is to strengthen man’s belief in God’s creation, in his cosmic idea, in the Logos. And the Logos, together with the ethic inherent in it, and moral action and creation, are intended to make man’s soul worthy of the divine cosmic idea.
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