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RELG 300 (1)

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McGill University
Religious Studies
RELG 300
Stephen Mahn

Persian Period Jewish culture of the 6th c : bridge before second temple period. • Variety of perspectives in Bible : written over a course of centres. Different themes and perspectives. Why? • Difference between Jeremiah and Ezra : concept of justice. 1.covenant : agreement/contractual relationship. Basis of this relationship, seen in more than one way. 2.Is this a conditional relationship that can be ended and vice versa? 3.Is there inherent fallibility in the system? • what does this relationship mean? 1.focuses of power : he wrote about royalty(going back to way things were after punishment) , prophets, elders. 2.royalty's thinking : Jewish texts take this seriously , are we going back to it amplified or just the ay it was? Or are we looking at something completely new and what does it mean? These questions continue throughout the period • Issue of social justice 1.idea of social justice throughout the bible 2.what about common concern for regular people? Today's lecture : Jews in the Persian period (passages about prophets imp) Power positions • Priest / temple priests : temple sacrifices etc, judges/ (legislative) interpretive , leaders. All these functions focussed more or less by high priests. (Power and injury) • Elders : (sidelined) • Kings/ royalty/ governors : Ezekiel trying to limit power of kings. 1.Kings : military, under Empire diminishes military role 2.King and temple : kings role in temple in previous period 3.Messianic King : 4.Governor : • Cyrus Cylinder (greatness of Cyrus) (image) • Elephantine Papyri : imp 1. syncretism : syncretistic worship where you put together different modes of worship 2.imperial cultures have their religions and traditions, how does local culture deal with this? Find ways and ideas on how to absorb different things being done by the dominant culture 3.South Egypt : local sacrificial altar, trouble with neighbours , wrote letters looking for support both to leaders in Jerusalem and Samaria • ( A call to build the house of lord) : Governor and high priest. Word of Lord came through prophet Haggai 1.problems suffered by people : because of Lord (his house in ruins) they began to work on the house of lord 3.god is pointing out to them : supposed to have temple for a god, you don't have one so you have problems. (Emphasis role of Jerusalem temple : this was the place where they could get happiness, prosperity, etc) 4.Not only you're gonna have crops and rain, you'll get more : his temple is not just a local shrine, this temple is going to make the whole world different. This is the big plan behind building the temple. 5.Zerrubabel : use him to lead this task (god's representative) • Book of Haggai : role of temple, place of ration
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