Quotation by O.B. Hardison

Hebrew culture is based on a single book, the Word of God. Greek culture, by contrast, is based on a thousand books, all of them by human authors. The god of the Hebrews sternly rejected graven idols. Consequently, the Hebrew tradition is iconoclastic—it scorns all attempts to materialize the divine. The Greek gods, conversely, admired the material world. Their admiration, as a matter of fact, often seems to be tinged with envy, as though they considered the material world better than the celestial. They wanted to be materialized. They approved of statues, and the statues they inspired were so beautiful that they eventually set standards for human beauty.
O.B. Hardison (1928–1990), U.S. critic, educator. "Necessary Fictions," Entering the Maze: Identity and Change in Modern Culture, Oxford University Press (1981).
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