Reading Strategies and ResponsibilityLæsestrategier og ansvarlighed
In his book, Taking Leave of Abraham. An Essay in Religion and Democracy, Troels Nørager argues that the willingness to sacrifice one's own son symbolizes the violent potential of authoritarian religion that can be seen today in terror actions. And he argues that this kind of God-relations are not compatible with a modern liberal democracy. Troels Nørager's critique of the violent God of the Old Testament is relevant. The same must be said about Jan Assmann's thesis about the possibility of a link between exclusive monotheism and violence. Monotheism and violence are linked in the Old Testament, and we cannot change that. But we have the power to influence the Old Testament's Wirkungsgeschichte. Asmann argues that by placing the ‘violent’ texts in their historical context, we can limit their validity. I would like to add that we also have a responsibility to include the many other Old Testament images of God that speak against, and present alternatives to, a theology of violence (cf. for instance the Book of Jonah and Hos. 2).
Encountering Violence in the Bible, 2013, p. 207-215
Violence; Bible; Old Testament; Gen 22; monotheism; reading strategies; responsibility; Troels Nørager; Jan Asmann