Feb 14, 2014
In this episode we will look at a very old idea of what is the Kingdom of God. It is the belief that the kingdom is a specific geographic location such as a specific tribal or political region. What ever is the religion of the king or queen of the land, that becomes the relgion of all the people. If you live within the borders of this area, you are in the Kingdom of God. If you are outside the borders, you are not in the true Kingdom of God. In later centuries, this understanding grew into the belief that the Kingdom of God was a particular institution rather than a specific location. For example, within Christianity some believe that the Roman Catholic Church or the Eastern Orthodox Church would be the true kingdom of God.
Each of these approaches to the Kingdom, whether location or institution, has strengths and weaknesses. On the plus side, it is very concrete, and shows the need for some sort of boundaries so people can know if they truly belong to a specific religious tradition. On the negative side, viewing outsiders as less worthy than true believers can lead to religious violence against outsiders.
In the next episode we will look an another understanding of the Kingdom of God, where the Kingdom is not of this world.
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