The Fabric of the Cosmos

William P. Brown

in The Seven Pillars of Creation

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730797
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777075 | DOI:
The Fabric of the Cosmos

Show Summary Details


In stark contrast to Ecclesiastes, Isaiah 40-55 provides a dynamic and open-ended picture of creation. This chapter examines certain passages from Second Isaiah that were evidently composed at the end of Israel’s exile in Babylon. The heavens are likened to unfurled fabric, and the ground is the locus of God’s new creation. To herald the exiles’ release, the prophet draws heavily from the example of botanical life. Creation is emergent: like plants bursting from the soil’s crust, salvation “springs forth” from the ground. Creation’s emergent newness is matched by the prophet’s emergent view of God. Drawing from the biological analogy of “symbiosis,” this chapter argues that Isaiah’s rigorously monotheistic view of God is the result of a merging of divine qualities from which God’s identity emerges as the transcendent and consummate creator.

Keywords: exile; dynamic; new creation; emergence; symbiosis; monotheism; Isaiah; transcendence

Chapter.  9205 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.