Monday, April 21, 2008

Quote of the Day

As Jewish monotheism became gradually purified from anthropomorphic elements and increasingly abstract, the place of the God of Israel and even God Himself were identified with the whole universe, that entity identified in Stoic pantheism with the Supreme Being. The various components of this development are reflected in Philo's commentary on Jacob's dream. Here Philo ascribes three meanings to place, the third identifying place with God. A few centuries later this figure of speech, reminiscent of the second fragment of Pseudo-Archytas, is to be found in Jewish exegetic literature: "Why is God called place? Because He is the place of the world, while the world is not His place." "Place" as a synonym for God became a generally accepted expression in the Hebrew language from the first centuries of the Christian era onwards.

Shmuel Sambursky
The Concept of Place in Late Neoplatonism

(cross-posted at OregonLive)

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