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Prolegomena: Polemical Attitudes against Anthropomorphic Traditions

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Chapter Summary

Biblical and pseudepigraphic materials confirm the presence of anthropomorphic tendencies, especially in traditions associated with the divine kabod and Adam's figure. However, modern scholars have explored some theological traditions which criticized the Adamic and kabod trends for various theological reasons and advanced new theological categories of discourse. The concept of "divine glory", a key notion of the Priestly school, was many times associated with anthropomorphic descriptions of God. The origins of anti-anthropomorphism go back to Xenophanes of Colophon. However, the anthropomorphic attitude continued to be very appealing to many theologians and had its own followers until very late in the Middle Ages. The chapter also unveils the noetic Christology of early paschal theology within its Hellenistic and pre-Nicene Christian contexts. Several Hellenistic and early Christian documents mention the idea of a cosmic noetic God fulfilling the whole universe.

Keywords: anthropomorphic tradition; divine kabod; early paschal theology; Hellenistic context; noetic Christology; pre-Nicene Christian context



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