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26 Syncretism and Creativity in the Hellenistic Period: The Promise of Salvation 205. The Mystery religions As we observed earlier (§ 184), the promise of salvation consti- tutes the novelty and principal characteristic of the Hellenistic religions. Uppermost, of course, was individual salvation (al- though the dynastic cults had a similar purpose-salvation of the dynasty).· The divinities who were believed to have undergone death and resurrection were closer to individual men than were the tutelary gods of the polis. Their cult included a more or less

The Sixteenth And Seventeenth Centuries
Infinitude and Creation of the Human
Feeling Christian in America

Theory 165 5 / Eclipse of the Real Deaths of God 186 Consuming Images 205 Cultivating Diversity 218 6 / Recovering the Real Counterculture 241 Securing the Base 256 Marketing the New Age 281 Base Closures 297 7 / Religion without God Refi guring Life 313 Emergent Creativity 329 8 / Ethics without Absolutes Guide for the Perplexed 348 Fluid Dynamics 359 Notes 379 Index 411


esotericism. Interpreted in their proper spiritual horizon, these re- ligious creations have their own special interest and occasionally their grandeur. In any case, they have become integrated into the religious history and culture of Europe. An important section of the final volume of A History of Religious Ideas will be a presentation of the archaic and traditional religions of America, Africa, and Oceania. In fact, in the final chapter, I will un- dertake to analyze the religious creativity of modem societies. I wish to thank Professor Charles Adams, who had the

Influenced by Nietzsche’s philosophy of culture, Buber held the liberation of Jews’ creative energies to be the most urgent task. Contrary to the Ahad Ha’am, he argued it was not sufficient to reinterpret select strands of tra- ditional Judaism and endow them with secular meaning. Similarly, he re- jected conceiving culture in spiritual terms only. Rather, “productivity” and “creativity” constitute culture’s self-generating transformative forces. The spiritual rebirth of the Jewish people must, therefore, precede the re- generation of its culture. In this context

its freedom as themselves participant in the real. Free human creativity, or indeed “the cultural” broadly construed, on the one hand, and a given or natural reality, on the other, are in fact for Cusa interwoven in such a way that the real contains, as integral to itself, the indeterminate freedom of creative humanity. The deeper history out of which Cusa develops this notion of the human as creative in its infi nite lack of defi nition grounds that notion in a doctrine of the imago Dei that is infl ected by the apophatic insistence on God’s own

cation and calculation fundamental to modernity’s projects of conceptual and practical management or control. Having established along these lines the terms and stakes of Heideg- ger’s critical perspectives on theological tradition, technological modernity, and their interplay, I go on to offer in two subsequent chapters alternative readings, fi rst, of theological—specifi cally mystical—tradition and the un- derstandings of divine creation operative there, and then, in turn, of a tech- nological postmodernity and the forms of human creativity it may give us to

creation: artistic, xiv, 137, 147, 157, 158–59; divine, 163–64; as unsecuring, 155. See also creativity; see also under world creativity: beyond cause, 158, 162–63; create with, 133, 153, 155–57; in hands, 144–45; and hope, 164–65; and nature, 43, 138, 153–55. See also creation: artistic cult / cultus: and cultivation, 152–53; disbanded, 34–35; serpent, 22, 24 culture: Aby Warburg studies on, 25–26, 28–31; without cult, 34–35; and cultivation, 152–53 curiosity, 71–72 Damisch, Hubert, 60–61 Danae (Turrell), 97–100, 107 darkling, 15, 20–21, 35–36, 94. 96