RELIGIA ȘI ASPIRAȚIA DUPĂ LIBERTATE: O ABORDARE COMPARATIVĂ DESPRE PROMISIUNEA LIBERTĂȚII ÎN SCRIPTURĂ ȘI ÎN CULTURILE POLITEISTE VECHI
Religion and the Quest for Freedom: A Comparative Approach Between the Bible and the Polytheistic Cultures’ Promise of Freedom.
In the following study we will examine the phenomenon of idolatry as it appears in the Ancient Near East and in the texts of the Old and, to a lesser extent, the New Testament. We will show that the practice of idolatry was typical of polytheistic societies and that in many cases it exerted a significant influence on monotheistic societies as well, as was the case in Ancient Judaism. The purpose of our work is to explore the reasons why idolatry was possible and why for the majority of people it became the logical and the most attractive way to relate to the divine world. Likewise, we will show that numerous sources within the Old Testament condemned idolatry and viewed it as a form of bondage to false gods and rejection of the true God. We will ask whether idolatry – as a form of religion – led to the freedom and security it promised or not. In order to achieve this purpose, we will examine the terminology for idolatry and the names of the majority of the gods that are listed in the texts of the Old and the New Testament. We will then show that, given its pragmatic vision of the religious life – where one worshiped the gods in order to receive something – idolatry became a mechanism for ancient men and women to pacify the violent forces of nature and to maintain economic and personal security in an otherwise challenging environment. With this aim, we will ask whether idolatry was inspired by fear and pragmatism – which would create the premises to bondage – or by reverence and love for the divinity, which would lead one to experience true freedom. Our hope is to help the reader understand better the phenomena of idolatry and biblical faith with the purpose of finding a more meaningful response to the question „who or what is the divine world?” and „does my relationship to it leads to freedom or bondage?”
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