Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Steck on the Akedah (or Aqedah)

"The story of the sacrifice of Isaac is naturally today a defenseless text, and anyonenot just Tilmann Moser or . . . Leszek Kolakowskican help himself to it and treat it as he likes.  But he who wants to speak of God today and stick to the soil in which this story is rooted [(auf dem Boden dieser Geschichte bleiben)], he who wants to preach it, he who wants to tell it to children, he who wants simply therefore to live with it, he may not overlook how story-telling Israel itself offers it to us as a special, as a certainly disconcerting pointer to God, as an entry into the mysterious and incomprehensible God [to be sure], but [also as] completely [and] inextricably embedded in [its] witness to and self-transformative [(selbstbetroffene)] experience of the graciously accompanying God.  Of this gracious God must one speak [both] before and after [the telling], as Israel did.  He who would refrain from doing this, he who would strike it [(das)] out of his life, he would retain not the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, but only fragments of it in hand."

Odil Hannes Steck, "Ist Gott grausam?  Über Isaaks Opferung aus der Sicht des alten Testaments," Ist Gott grausam?  Eine Stellungnahme zu Tilmann Mosers 'Gottesvergiftung', hrsg. Wolfgang Böhme (Stuttgart:  Evangelisches Verlagswerk, 1977), 83 (75-95).

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