My big fat Greek mindset

June 8, 2007 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

Boundless Line had a great post up yesterday entitled My Big Fat Greek Mindset. It’s on the differences between Eastern and Western conceptions of God, a topic which has come up several times on this blog recently.

As the post’s author, Denise Morris, points out, Christianity grew out of a (Middle) Eastern Hebrew context. Whereas the Hebrew worldview tends to emphasize God’s physical form, we in the West tend to follow the Greeks in thinking of God in idea form.

This difference in ways of thinking about God is revealed in our descriptions of God. Ask a group of Westerners to describe God, and they’re likely to spout off terms like “omniscient,” “omnipresent,” “all good,” etc. But pose the same question to a group of Hebrews, and they’d say “a rock,” “a consuming fire,” etc. We draw on intellectual concepts; they draw on physical images.

I’m not sure of the practical consequences of these two perspectives, and I doubt whether either of these ways is right or wrong, but the differentiation is sure interesting.


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profile.jpgI am working on my M.A. in Religion at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Besides having a big interest in theology, history, ethics, and the deep stuff of life, I am also very fond of Mediterranean food, snow, and the color red.

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