Sunday, May 8, 2011

Making God in the Image of Caesar

Alfred North Whitehead has an interesting quote about how some Western thinkers tried to make God in the image of Caesar:

"When the Western world accepted Christianity, Caesar conquered; and the received text of Western theology was edited by his lawyers. The code of Justinian and the theology of Justinian are two volumes expressing one movement of the human spirit [imperialism]. The brief Galilean vision of humility flickered throughout the ages, uncertainly. In the official formulation of the religion it has assumed the trivial form of the mere attribution to the Jews that they cherished a misconception about their Messiah. But the deeper idolatry, of the fashioning of God in the image of the Egyptian, Persian, and Roman imperial rulers, was retained. The Church gave unto God the attributes which belonged exclusively to Caesar."

1 comment:

  1. Excellent point! I wrote an entire novel around this very idea. It's called The Metaphor Maker. (It's on kindle, too.) Thanks for this exciting website that explores the viewpoint of Alfred North Whitehead. Looking forward to hearing Sara's music. Ron and I give you thumbs up!