GUARDING THE MYSTERY AND MAJESTY OF GOD: REFLECTIONS ON THE HERMENEUTICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

Louis Jonker

Abstract


The early post-exilic period in Israel’s history saw a radical reinterpretation of Yahweh’s
presence among his people. This re-orientation was prompted by the significantly changed
socio-religious conditions during the Persian era. Yahwism had to be defined in the
absence of the luxurious sanctuary of the monarchic era, as well as in the context of a
diversity of religions. Within this context the radical shift which is witnessed in the second
commandment took place. A movement away from cult images to the strong prohibition of
images (aniconism) was concluded. This movement is a reflection of the hermeneutical
altercation on the mystery and majesty of God. The present paper investigates the
hermeneutical implications of the second commandment for reflecting on human dignity in
an African context. An overview will be provided of the history of research on the second
commandment and the religious-historical circumstances that prompted it. Thereafter, the
results of the overview will be brought into interaction with one particular Africentric
interpretation of the Second Commandment.

Keywords


Second Commandment; Aniconism; Post-exilic Period; Hermeneutics; Afrocentric Interpretation

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/106-0-147

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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