By S. Tamar Kamionkowski, Wonil Kim
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Extra info for Bodies, Embodiment, and Theology of the Hebrew Bible
51. Eilberg-Schwartz, God’s Phallus, 78. 52. Mosca, “Missing Link,” 501 n. 26. 54 Functionally, both the cherubim of Ezekiel and the beasts are associated with the divine throne. However, instead of guarding the divine throne as boundary markers of holiness and symbols of divine lordship,55 as the cherubim do, the beasts oppose the divine throne through their unjust and predatory actions. The two visions are also wrestling with similar questions concerning divine power and presence. 56 The vision of Ezek 1 addresses both questions.
30 Divine anthropomorphism can also be used to establish God’s elevation above the other deities. 31 This use of anthropomorphism demonstrates how God both meets and exceeds typical conceptions of divine power. C. J. Labuschagne describes this dynamic as divine incomparability,32 while Hendel calls it “supraanthropomorphism” (cf. e. awe and danger), rather than through form. ”34 One ¿nal critical issue in the study of the divine body brings the discussion back to Mary Douglas’s work, mentioned at the beginning of this essay.
The theophany asserts the presence of God with the deportees in Babylon, re-assuring them that the divine has not rejected them, even as it asserts Yahweh’s international status and power over foreign gods. 57 While Mesopotamian thinking often located the divine image in the cultic statue or in the king, Ezekiel relocates it within the exiles. As John Kutsko sees it, this denies the strength and legitimacy of other gods and their kingly agents, even as it elevates the theological status of the exiled community.