The Temple and Empire killed God

The new issue of St Francis Magazine just came out and it looks like it will have some good material. I am especially looking forward to Madany's article on the Trinity. He is an excellent interpreter of Islam.

For now though I leave you with this juicy tidbit from Miller on p 507:

Here is what I would regard as very a fundamental disjunct between
Islam and Christianity: The Cross is itself the revelation of the
absolute incapability of Empire and Temple to address the deepest
needs of the broken icon. The cross reveals to us how the Temple
and the Empire, when given free reign, actually kill God. How different
is this from Islam, where the proof of God’s choice of
Muhammad was his ability to harness both Empire and Temple to his
aims? We should not be surprised by this though: the polis is made
up of people, and if our anthropology is different, then so will be our
politic. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones, but has
lifted up the humble.”

Check the whole thing out here.


FrGregACCA said…
I wouldn't say "Temple", but rather, with St. Paul, "the Law" along with "Empire" (the state in general) AND culture in general (master/slave dynamic, ethnic domination and oppression, patriarchy, for example).

However, in the aftermath of the cross, Christ's resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit constitute the Church such that communion with Christ-God via the Church is attained as a result of dying and rising with Christ by faith and participating in the mysteries of initiation (baptism, confirmation/chrismation, eucharist). Thus, historic, Apostolic Christianity is indeed about "healing the ikon". However, IMHO, the Reformation gives up on the healing of the ikon, ironically meaning that Protestantism, as such, reverts to being a religion of "[religious] Law, State, and Culture". When this is deconstructed and revealed to be a step backward, theological liberalism results.
Abu Daoud said…
Your distinction between Temple and Law is interesting. Let me wait to see if others chime in before I give my opinion.

My understanding is that Orthodoxy has a more positive view of the role of the government in the Church's life than the the churches in the West.
Abu Daoud said…
Hi Greg,

I do think that we can say the Temple did this, because it was not the Law alone, but it was in fact a human institution and its priests and leaders and indeed its economic basis that contributed to the crucifixion.

FrGregACCA said…
I suppose we can, although St. Paul consistently speaks of our freedom from "the Law" and IT'S role in the execution of Christ. I want to avoid the typically Protestant notion that, a'la the Reformed reading of Hebrews, the temple is abolished and cult is relegated to the ash-heap of history, along with the animal sacrifices of Judaism.
Paradoxicon said…
Instead of "the Law," the "Old Law" would probably be a better descriptor, since the Gospel is the "New Law." The sacraments communicate what the sacrifices of the Old Covenant could not. And in any case the moral precepts are as obligatory now as they were when Moses first received them. In some cases they're actually stricter.

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