Addomesticare dio. Abramo, Numa e i piaceri della poligenesi

Mario Lentano


Domesticating god. Abraham, Numa, and the pleasures of polygenesis

This contribution aims to point out some similarities between the tale of king Numa meeting Jupiter on the Aventine hill and that of Abraham talking with Yahweh before the planned destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Both these traditional legends are interpreted as an attempt to “domesticate” the supreme god, in order to protect human societies from his overwhelming powers. To achieve their goal, both the king and the patriarch resort to a sophisticated rhetorical strategy, based mainly on metaphor in the case of Numa, and on the use of a sort of sorites paradox in that of Abraham.

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