Zusammenfassung / Summary
The article critically addresses Jan Assmann’s account of biblical monotheism. Assmann proposes that the "mosaic difference" has shaped a new form of religious violence, succeeding peaceful and tolerant Egyptian "cosmotheism". In a first step Assmann's account of a violent monotheism as well as his alternative suggestion of cosmotheism shall be outlined. This concept will be contrasted, in a second step, with exemplary texts of "Egyptian" patristic theologians, written in the multireligious melting pot of Alexandria. On the one hand these texts emphasize violence as part of the ancient gentile pantheon, on the other hand they point to nonviolence and love as specific properties of the Christian concept of God. Finally, Assmann's critique of monotheism will be taken up as a helpful provocation while, at the same time, problematic implications of his account of cosmotheism will be considered.