Philosophical Reduction(ism) in Meta-Language Reconstructions of Yhwh as Religious Object

  • Jaco W Gericke North-West University (Vaal Campus) Faculty of Humanities


In Hebrew Bible/Old Testament scholarship, one encounters a variety of reductive perspectives on what exactly Yahweh as religious object is assumed to be. In this article, a clarification of the research problem is followed by an introductory overview of what is currently available on this topic as is attested in the context of various interpretative methodologies and their associated meta-languages. It is argued that any attempt to describe the actual metaphysical nature and ontological status of the religious object in the jargon of a particular interpretative approach is forever prone to committing the fallacy of reductionism. Even so, given the irreducible methodological perspectivism supervening on heuristic specificity, reductive accounts as such are unavoidable. If this is correct, then it follows a fortiori that a unified theory (of everything Yahweh can be said to be) and an ideal meta-language (with which to perfectly reconstruct the religious object within second-order discourse) are a priori impossible.