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Perichoresis: The Theological Journal of Emanuel University







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How can the Biblical God be the Lord and King who, being typically unseen and even self-veiled at times, authoritatively leads people for divine purposes? This article’s main thesis is that the answer is in divine moral leading via human moral experience of God (of a kind to be clarified). The Hebrew Bible speaks of God as ‘king,’ including for a time prior to the Jewish human monarchy. Ancient Judaism, as Martin Buber has observed, acknowledged direct and indirect forms of divine rule and thus of theocracy. This article explores the importance of divine rule as divine direct leading, particularly in moral matters, without reliance on indirect theocracy supervised by humans. It thus considers a role for God as Über-King superior to any human king, maintaining a direct moral theocracy without a need for indirect theocracy. The divine goal, in this perspective, is a universal commonwealth in righteousness, while allowing for variation in political structure. The article identifies the importance in the Hebrew Bible of letting God be God as an Über-King who, although self-veiled at times, leads willing people directly and thereby rules over them uncoercively. It also clarifies a purpose for divine self-veiling neglected by Buber and many others, and it offers a morally sensitive test for unveiled authenticity in divine moral leading.


Author Posting ©️ The Author(s), 2023. This article is posted here by permission of Sciendo for personal use. This article was published open access in Perichoresis, VOL.21, ISS.4, (December 2023),

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.