Saturday, May 3, 2008

Jewish Atheist: Reinventing the Sacred

The ancient Jews and Greeks split the ancient Western world. The Jews, as Paul Johnson wrote in his History of the Jews, were the best historians of the ancient world, stubbornly commemorating the situated history of a people and their universal, single God, our Abrahamic God. With this part of our Western Hebraic-Hellenic tradition comes our Western sense of history and progress, alive in the creativity of human history. In contrast, Greek thought was universalist and sought natural laws. The Greeks were the first scientists in the West.
If both natural law and ceaseless creativity partially beyond natural law are necessary for understanding our world, and if we as whole human beings live in this real world of law and unknowable creativity, these two ancient strands of Western civilization can reunite in ways we cannot foresee.Out of this union can arise a healing of the long split between science and the humanities, and the schism between pure reason and practical life, both subjects of interest to Immanuel Kant. Science is not, as Galileo claimed, the only pathway to truth. History, the situated richness of the humanities, and the law are true as well. This potential union invites a fuller understanding of ourselves creating our histories and our sacred, as we create our lives. (more from Edge)
Reinventing the Sacred: A New View of Science, Reason, and Religion

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