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Religion and the Philosophy of Life$
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Gavin Flood

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198836124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198836124.001.0001

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Transforming Life

Transforming Life

The Greek and Abrahamic Traditions

(p.218) 6 Transforming Life
Religion and the Philosophy of Life

Gavin Flood

Oxford University Press

Although the category ‘Abrahamic religions’ is contentious, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam do form a group of traditions related historically, conceptually, and practically. The theme of life itself has been central for them all, especially the sacrificial model of transforming death into life and an eschatology that awaits the end of days. The history of these three religions has been more conflictual than harmonious, almost inseparable from the history of power and the emergence of the idea of the nation and state. A conception of life begins to emerge in these religions from common roots in Jewish and Greek thinking. Three trajectories of interest in life itself can be traced: first, a sacrificial imaginary at work across the Greek, Semitic, and Christian histories; second, life understood in terms of verticality; and third, a horizontal, scientific drive to understand life.

Keywords:   Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Greece, science, verticality

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