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The Spirituality of the Old Testament: A Dialectical Com-transcendency between Deus Absconditus and Deus Revelatus with Special Reference to Jeremiah 23 and Psalm 139

Kim, Jung-Woo 1

1총신대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Wrestling with the issue of 'spirituality,' which is becoming one of the major issues at stake in contemporary religions and cultures seems meaningless, as if 'chasing after the wind' as told by the ancient sage Qohelet(Ecc 1:14). The thoughts and movements relating to spirituality cause bitter criticisms and arguments with diverse rhetorical flourish such as religious pluralism, New Age, syncretism, dualism, mysticism, subjectivism, escapism, anti-intellectualism, charismatism, fanaticism, asceticism, and spiritualism etc. Thus, the present writer tries to delve into the fundamental characteristics of the term spirituality in terms of Zen, originality, archetype, nihility, silence, serenity, sensitivity, directedness (firsthandedness), openness, presentness, urgency, radicality, dynamics, ordinariness, and integrity, based on his interaction with core literatures in the major religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Christianity. The writer suggests a tentative definition of the term spirituality as the fundamental nature of human spirit which has the capacity to have intimate communication and fellowship with the supernatural existence, nature and fellow human beings, based on the enlightenment of one's true self-identity. Christian spirituality can be differentiated from other types of spiritualities in its commitment to the Bible as the word of God, and in its focus on the holy communion with the triune God. After delineating the fundamental characteristics of the term spirituality, the writer sets the two major conceptual pillars of spirituality, namely, Deus Absconditus and Deus Revelatus which are interacting with each other in a dialectical tension; and then applying them to Jeremiah 23: 23-25 and Psalm 139 which are appreciated as one of the most sublime and spiritual texts of the Old Testament. The former text was chosen as a model text showing the transcendental presence of the Lord by criticizing the assumption of the false prophets who teach the immanent presence of the Lord. The latter text was chosen as a model text showing the com-transcendency (抱越性, periechontologie of K. Jaspers) of the Lord who are transcendent beyond measure as well as immanent even in the whole process of the creation of the embryo of the psalmist him/herself.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.