Tag Archives: ancient hebrew

God’s Phallus

Hermetic Library fellow T Polyphilus reviews God’s Phallus: And Other Problems for Men and Monotheism by Howard Eilberg-Schwartz [also] from Beacon Press:

Howard Eilber-Schwartz's God's Phallus from Beacon Press


This thoughtful and provocative book, like the equally-rewarding Moses the Egyptian of Jan Assman, owes a great amount to reflection on Freud’s final work: Moses and Monotheism. Eilberg-Schwartz considers the ways in which divine maleness creates dilemmas for human masculinity, in the context of hetero-normative monotheism. He discusses the peculiarities of ancient Hebrew theophanies, as well as the aniconic dimensions of the tradition. He musters a persuasive case that it was the maleness of God that was problematic for Hebrews at the time of the composition of the Torah, rather than mere corporeality or even anthropomorphism.

Eilberg-Schwartz proposes that the “solutions” to the dilemma shifted with the development of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism, but the underlying difficulties are still present in all these phases of the Abrahamic tradition. His call for a “polymorphously perverse” theology to loose the inherited bonds of the masculine amounts to a proposed erasure of what Assman calls the “Mosaic distinction” that provides for the existence of aniconic monotheism in the first place. In the traditions of Western religion, such a move is truly iconoclastic. [via]



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The Deeper Symbolism of Freemasonry from The Meaning of Masonry by Walter Leslie Wilmshurst.

“the three-sided emblem at the top added to the four-sided emblem beneath making seven, the perfect number; for, as it is written in an ancient Hebrew doctrine with which Masonry is closely allied, ‘God blessed and loved the number the seven more than all things under His throne,’ by which is meant that man, the seven-fold being, is the most cherished of all the Creator’s works.” [via]