The Belief Of The Religious Impulse

2140 WordsDec 2, 20149 Pages
The question as to what it means to be human is often thought of as being the foundational question for almost all religions. Indeed, it can be argued that the religious impulse itself is first and foremost an impulse to understand the nature the meaning of life, and therefore of what it means to be human. Despite the importance of this question, the Bible provides relatively few answers, other than the idea that to be human is to be in some way close to God and to have been created by Him. This closeness and the nature of having been created has a variety of consequences which this paper will explore. These consequences that can be seen to be intensely positive but which also come with a heavy price and with a strict legality. Finally, they may also be shown to be entirely arbitrary and to position their unfathomable nature on the fact of having the 'created ' nature of a person. A person both is and is not identical with God and in this way must be both possessed of a capacity to know Him and equally must be beholden to the laws that He lays down for behaviour and worship. The simultaneous closeness and distance is present in the idea of that people are made in the image of God. This paper will consider the breadth of the Hebrew Bible in order to show the consequences of this seeming contradiction that a person is an incomplete replication and possesses a separated, although potentially bridgeable relationship to Divine. To begin with it will argue that, while prior

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