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Anders Klostergaard Petersen

Anders Klostergaard Petersen

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Anders Klostergaard Petersen

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Anders Klostergaard Petersen

Abstract

This article examines the relationship between notions of imitation of the gods and divinisation. I argue that a close historical connection exists between the two sets of ideas. Although some notion of imitation may be found in most forms of religion, it is intrinsic to utopian types of religion to lay stress on a narrow relationship between ideas about imitation of the gods and the concept of divinisation. Contrary to archaic forms of religion that place emphasis on the ontological difference conceived to separate man from the gods, utopian types of religion emphasise the need for man to overcome the ontological difference in order to attain a higher level of existence. Based on a number of examples from the early Christ-movement, I argue that with respect to the basic structure of its world-view it may — in line with an observation by Nietzsche — be conceived of as a bombastic form of Platonism, that is to say, that the central cognitive structure of Platonism has in the early Christ-movement been projected onto a spatial axis dividing heaven from earth. Man’s true home is no longer on earth but is the heavenly abode to which man, that is, the righteous man shall return subsequent to his death. In all forms of utopian types of religion, there exists an inherent relationship between concepts of imitation of the gods and notions of divinisation.

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Anders Klostergaard Petersen

Abstract

To retain the concept of rewritten Bible as a scholarly category it is not only crucial to slightly change the name of the notion by re-designating it “rewritten Scripture” but also to accord the term the status of a cross-cultural third-order concept. This will allow research to detach the notion from its somewhat current “parochial” nature intrinsically linked as it is to the study of Second Temple Jewish literature. Rewritten Scripture should be conceived of as an excessive form of intertextuality that signifies the relationship existing between scriptural predecessor and rewritten piece with respect to the question of authority. Apart from advancing the theoretical discussion of the nomenclature, the essay takes a fresh look at a moot point that has loomed large in previous debates, whether rewritten Scripture strives to replace its scriptural predecessor or aims to complement it in an irenic fashion. The acknowledgement of some aspectualism grants legitimacy to both viewpoints, when they are rightfully understood within their proper perspectives. Finally, the article engages in typological considerations that will allow us to distinguish between three continua defined by respectively content, form, and function. Each constitutes a continuum on its own that advantageously may be segmented by several caesuras, which will allow us to differentiate between irenic scriptural completion at the one end of the spectrum and scriptural cannibalism at the other end of the spectrum. The fact that two works belonging to the category diverge on one continuum does not imply a corresponding divergence at other continua.