By Paul; Edited by Braaten, Carl E. Tillich
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Extra info for A History of Christian Thought: From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism
Even in religion we give names to special objects; we distinguish acts of the divine; we relate symbols to each other and explain their meanings. There is language in every religion, and where there is language there are universals or concepts that one must use even at the most primitive level of thought. It is interesting that this conflict between Hegel and Schleiermacher was anticipated already in the third century by Clement of Alexandria who said that if animals had a religion, it would be mute, without words.
These mediating beings between the most high God and man to some extent replace the immediacy of the relationship to God. As in Christianity, particularly in Roman Catholic Christianity, the ever more transcendent idea of God was made acceptable to the popular mind by the introduction of the saints into practical piety. The official doctrine remained monotheistic; the saints were to receive only veneration, never adoration. Between man and God there arose also another world of beings having great power, namely, the realm of demons.
First, there were the angels, deteriorated gods and goddesses from surrounding paganism. During the period when the prophets fought against polytheism, they could not play any role. When the danger of polytheism was completely overcome, as it was in later Judaism, the angels could reappear without much danger of a relapse into it. Even so, however,-the New Testament is aware of this danger and warns against the cult of the angels. The second type of figure was the Messiah. The Messiah became a transcendent being, the king of paradise.
A History of Christian Thought: From its Judaic and Hellenistic Origins to Existentialism by Paul; Edited by Braaten, Carl E. Tillich