Archiv für Religionsgeschichte: Volume 9 (German Edition) by Assmann, Jan, Jan Assmann, Fritz Graf, Tonio Holscher,

By Assmann, Jan, Jan Assmann, Fritz Graf, Tonio Holscher, Ludwig Koenen, Jorg Rupke

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Extra resources for Archiv für Religionsgeschichte: Volume 9 (German Edition)

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Band, 2007 Christians thought of Christian ethics as something not that Christianity had invented but that built upon the ethical heritage of the classical world. There was good reason for the first Muslims to distinguish their values as religious, not tribal, even though recognizing them as part of the wider tribal milieu of their day. e. the stuff of tribes, but faith and piety. The values of tribal Arabia—generosity, magnanimity, clemency, endurance and fortitude—were to be adopted by Islam but with a new orientation, to the face of God and not as a function of personal and tribal reputation, group pride and individual honor.

In general, as Daniel Matt describes it in his study of the concept of Nothingness in Jewish mysticism, ultimate theurgic success returns the emanated multiplicity back to its source in the ineffable En Sof, the Infinite, of which the ayin is an aspect, without parts and without multiplicity. In the words of Azriel of Gerona (13th century), in mystical prayer one “gathers the multiplicity” and ascends with it into the undifferentiated unity of the ayin. The ability to reach these unitive experiences does not depend upon practicing an unrestricted morality, of love, compassion, respect, or whatever, as it does in some other traditions, such as Theravada Buddhism.

E. a heavenly reward above and beyond strategies and calculations for maximizing tribal standing and personal reputation; in other words, the ability to take pride in oneself and one’s clan was no longer to be the mark of ethical life; that mark was now to be sacrifice for the sake of God. In short, a social system in which cohesion was based on a shared faith rather than blood ties and tribal alliance required that one’s relations with others closely correspond to one’s relations with God, who was no tribal deity, divine possession of a single clan, but Creator and Lord of all, greatly expanding the ethical horizon of the Arab culture of the day.

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