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현대 서구사상의 지성적, 종교적 기초는 일찍이 B. C. 900 년경에서 B.C. 300년에 걸쳐 지중해 연안 지역을 중심으로 형성되었다. B.C. 300년경 알렉산더 대왕(Alexander the Great)에 의한 세계 통일과 더불어, A.D. 300년까지, 형성되었던 헬레니즘(Hellenism)은 히브리․그리스 양 대사유의 복합 절충주의 유산이라고 할 수 있고, 영지주의와 스토아사상(Stoicism)이 중심이 되고 있다.그리스적 사유와 히브리적 사유라고 불리우는 양대 사유 전통은 서구문학은 물론, 서구 사상, 제도, 서구문화 일반의 기초가 되고 있다. 본 논문은 히브리 사유와 그리스사유의 구별되는 특징을 고찰해 보고자함을 목표로 하며, 이를 위해, 신, 자연, 인간이해를 중심으로 양 사유를 비교 고찰해 보고자 한다.그리스 인의 궁극적 관심사는 존재(근원)요, 히브리인의 경우 실존(삶)이다. 그리스인은 인간을 서로 분리될 수 있는 영과 육으로 이루어진 존재로서 파악했고, 히브리인은 영을 육을 살아있게 하는 하느님의 숨결정도로 파악했다. 히브리인은 또한 그리스적 의미에서의 자연을 모른다. 그리스인이 파악하는 세계의 생성이 대체로 그러하듯 하늘과 땅은 그냥 생겨났다. 그리스인들은 신의 지혜를 조화롭고 유기적인 우주의 합목적성에서 읽는다. 그리스의 신은 결국 법칙이다. 히브리의 경우, 신은 창조의지를 가지고 하늘, 땅, 인간, 모든 동식물과 자연물을 창조한 창조신이다. 이 신은 인간의 역사에 현실적으로 참여하기를 계속해온다. 히브리에서 가장 문제시 되는 것은 관계이다.


The two main traditions in the way of thinking, that is, the Greek way of thinking and the Hebraic way of thinking, have been running as two main substreams in Western literature and culture in general. To comprehend these two traditions will be to understand the birth place of English literature, which has been neglected so far by literary students. The concern of this paper is to compare the two traditions in connection with the way of viewing God, Nature and Man during the 600-year period covering B.C. 900-B.C. 300 when the world had not been Hellenized yet.1. The understanding of God:The Greeks and the Hebrews all thought of God as transcendental as an eternal being. The transcendency of God, however, meant different things to the two ancient peoples. For the Greeks, it meant timelessness as against birth and death, and transcendence of the spirit as against body and emotion. For them God was the law of spirit which brought harmony and form to the universe. The Greeks read God's wisdom from the purposefulness of the organic cosmos.The Hebrews believed in the loving care of God, Creator of the world, who performed actions participating in the history of man. God was for them the object of admiration and surprise, not that ofagnosticism. 2. The understanding of Nature:For the Greeks Nature existed by itself and for itself. They closely observed and verified Nature. Reason led them to reach the wisdom of God which was the harmonious universal law. The mastery of this law or God's wisdom helped them to cultivate the natural sciences. On the other hand, the Hebrews thought that Nature was created by God out of nothing. Nature did not exist by itself. She was something created by means of the action of God. The world for the Hebrews was the world in which You and I formed a relation of interaction as two different individuals. And Nature was nothing but a stage on which human beings performed actions and made histories. 3. The understanding of Man:The Greeks characteristically regarded man as composed of body and soul. Body was a temporary being to be trained and overcome through training. And soul was the trained inner-spirit and the very maker of a true human being. The Greeks gave the ultimate priority to the spirit over the body. Contrariwise, the Hebrews did not know how to distinguish spirit from body. They merely presumed that soul animates and enlivens the body. They did not ever stop to ask, "What is man?", as the Greeks did. Instead their question was, "Adam, where are you now?" Thus their concern was not for mankind in general but for individuals like 'you' and 'I' at the specific station of place and time. A man for Greeks was ultimately a spiritual being. A man for Hebrews was a being of will.