신학과 실천[Theology and Praxis]





Theology and Praxis, Vol.80. (2022)
pp.111~136

DOI : 10.14387/jkspth.2022.80.111

The Old Ways of the Transcendental God Who Comes ‘Close’ to Us: Focusing on Mezuza, Tefillin, and Tallit and Their Spiritual-Practical Implications

  • Ryu, Jae-Sung
    (Seoul Theological University)
Humanity is finite, and God is infinite. Totally different being! Such an ontological or epistemological barrier lies between the naturally finite man/woman and the supernaturally infinite God. But how can humans imagine God? How can we men and women know and experience the God who is beyond that barrier? For the most part, Christian theology pushes these ontological/epistemological issues into the ream of revelation, making them approacheable through the New Testament mystery of the Incarnation —that is, the flesh of Jesus Christ, whom Karl Barth once identified as a veil that un-covers and covers God’s hiddeness from creation. However, this approach has resulted in Christian theology gaining one and missing the other. Christian theology certainly gained a New Testament perspective that captured the divine-human discourse on a Christological level, but not the Old Testament perspective that framed the same discourse on a different (non-Christological) level. The purpose of this study is to construct an appropriate response to these failures, especially by reading the Old Testament with reference to Jewish sources and interpretations. To this end, this study will focus on the three ‘old’ veils implicitly mentioned in the Old Testament rather than the ‘new’ veil that Barth had defined as the flesh of Jesus Christ with reference to the New Testament. The old veil includes ‘mezuzah,’ ‘tefillin,’ and ‘tallit,’ all suggesting a practically and spiritually theological significance functionally similar to the new veil (Jesus Christ’s flesh): God is holy and transcendent, separate from the world He created. Yet God is intimately accessible.
God’s Transcendence and Presence,God’s Hiddeness and Nearness,Mezuzah,Tefillin,Tallit.

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