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Collective Identity: The Curse Of Monotheism

from "The Curse of Cain" by Regina M. Schwartz, 1997

Collective Identity, which is a result of a covenant of Monotheism is explicitly narrated in the Bible as an invention, a radical break w/ Nature. A transcendent deity breaks into history w/ the demand that the people he constitutes obey the law he institutes, and first and foremost among those laws is, of course, that they pledge allegience to him, and him alone, and that this is what makes them a unified people as opposed to the *other,*
as in all other people which then leads to violence. In the Old Testament, vast numbers of *other* people are obliterated, while in the New Testament, vast numbers are colonized (or annihilajed) and converted for the sake of such covenants.
We are heirs of a long tradition in which Monotheism is regarded as the great achievement of Judaeo-Christian thought. Monotheism is entangled w/ particularism, and w/ the assertion that this god, and no other, must be worshipped. This particularism is so virulent that it reduces all other gods to mere idols, and is so violent that it reduces all other worshippers to abominations.
The danger of a universal Monotheism is asserting that the truth is THE truth; its system of knowledge, THE system; its ethics, THE ethics; not because any other option must be rejected, but because there simply IS NO OTHER OPTION. They presuppose a kind of metaphysical scarcity, a kind of hoarding mentality, hoarding belief, hoarding identity, hoarding allegience, because there is a finite supply of whatever,
it must be contained in whole or part. It suggests limit and boundaries. (THE CURSE OF CAIN by Regina M. Schwartz, University of Chicago Press, 1997)


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