Law and Lamb: AKEDAH and the Search for a Deep Religious Symbol for an Ecumenical Bioethics

Christian Bioethics 5 (3):213-219 (1999)
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Abstract

This essay looks at the concept of AKEDAH, the essence of which is the travail of the human condition and the trust in vindication and victory, as a salient and deep metaphor for bioethics. The author first delineates the symbol, then shows its theological and ethical significance, and finally suggests its bioethical applications.The LORD said, “Go get Isaac, your only son, the one you dearly love! Take him to the land of Moriah, and I will show you a mountain where you must sacrifice him to me on the fires of an altar.” So Abraham got up early the next morning and chopped wood for the fire. He put a saddle on his donkey and left with Isaac and two servants for the place where God had told him to go.Genesis 22There is silence all around. The Baptist appears, and cries: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Soon after that comes Jesus, and in the knowledge that He is the coming Son of Man lays hold of the wheel of the world to set it moving on that last revolution which is to bring all ordinary history to a close. It refuses to turn, and He throws Himself upon it. Then it does turn; and crushes Him. The wheel rolls onward, and the mangled body of the one immeasurably great Man, who was strong enough to think of Himself as the spiritual ruler of mankind and to bend history to His purpose, is hanging upon it still. That is His victory and His reign.

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