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Marcel Poorthuis

Abstract

The motif of the descent of the “sons of God” to the daughters of men was liberated from its hybrid connotations indicating a mixture between the divine and the human, once it was instead interpreted to mean that the sons of Seth had descended towards the daughters of Cain. The influence of this theme in Syriac Christianity upon Islamic authors is worth considering, documenting as it does a direct contact between the two religions. In addition, the related topic of Adam’s book-body being taken out of Paradise into the Ark constitutes a fruitful theme for interreligious narrative transformations. Especially noteworthy is the designation of Adam’s body as bema, which can be connected to Syriac liturgical usage for the separation between men and women in the church. This may shed new light upon similar regulations in the synagogue.

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The Forte-Kreis

A Utopian Attempt to Spiritual Leadership over Europe

Marcel Poorthuis

Just before the outbreak of World War 1, a group of writers, artists and philosophers decided to establish a spiritual rule over Europe, the Forte Kreis. The group aimed at a reconciliation in Europe, by establishing pacifism, but also between East and West by creating a new language. Their thoughts have been documented a several archives in Europe. By bringing them together, a picture emerges of a blend of elitist naiveté and prophetic foresight. The need for a supra-national spiritual guidance seems as relevant today as it was hundred years ago.