Hypsistos: Cultural Translation of Jewish Monotheism in the Hellenistic Period

Jörg Lanckau
The much-debated evidence of a Hellenistic "Most High" God does not reflect a turn towards a uniform "pagan monotheism". The modern terms "polytheism" and "monotheism" are not suitable for the description of the complexity of the interactions within the Hellenistic world from the 2nd century BCE until the 6th century CE. The rituals and practices of these various cults were based on the belief in a unique, transcendent god that could not be represented in human form. A "third space" opens: A
more » ... religious language is applied for traditional local cults, arising in very different situations where negotiation at the boundaries and borders of groupings and communities took place. The Jewish use of Hypsistos attempts to translate exclusive notions of YHWH into this environment.
doi:10.5167/uzh-58892 fatcat:kakkk5nrh5bc7mu4teuu7n2arm