Max Weber's Ancient Judaism PDF

By Max Weber

ISBN-10: 0029341302

ISBN-13: 9780029341308

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Ritual correctitude and the segregation from the social environment imposed by it was but one aspect of the commands upon Jewry. There existed in addition a highly rational religious ethic of social conduct; it was free of magic and all forms of irrational quest for salvation; it was inwardly worlds apart from the paths of salvation offered by Asiatic religions. To a large extent this ethic still underlies contemporary Mid Eastern and European ethic. World-historical interest in Jewry rests upon this fact.

Yet in so doing it eliminated all those aspects of the ethic enjoined by the Old Testament which ritually characterize the special position of Jewry as a pariah people. These aspects were not binding upon Christianity because they had been suspended by the Christian redeemer. In order to assess the significance of this act one need merely conceive what would have happened without it. Without the adoption of the Old Testament as a sacred book by Christianity, gnostic sects and mysteries of the cult of Kyrios Christos would have existed on the soil of Hellenism, but providing no basis for a Christian churcn or a Christian ethic of workaday life.

Similarly, they tell us nothing of the nature and extent of social differentiation which clearly also existed among the mountain peasants. Military organization into units of 1,000 men would seem to have already existed among them. 24 The round number of 40,000 able bodied soldiers in all Israel, which is named in the Song of Deborah, suggests that. However, nothing further is known. The same lack of information applies to the economic condition of the free peasants. There is no certain trace of the open field.

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Ancient Judaism by Max Weber


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