Introduction · 7
dimension, that is to say, mode of exchange D. The recuperation at a
higher dimension requires not only the negation of modes B and C, but
the negation of mode A itself. That is to say, what is required ﬁrst is for
people to be released from tribal society and the state. These conditions
were granted by the captivity.
The Jewish exiles in Babylon were released about forty years later by
the Persian Empire, after its defeat of Babylonia, and returned stateless to
Jerusalem. From that point forward, the Jewish sect was transformed into
a mechanism for governing the stateless people. In other words, the cov-
enant community in Babylon was transmuted into a collective regulated
by priests and scribes. The compilation of the Old Testament was further
advanced at this time. Through this process, the words of the prophets,
the legend of Moses, and so forth were given new meaning.
The compilation of an authorized scripture was carried out by the Jew-
ish sect from the perspective of theocracy and was rearranged so that all
laws would appear as if based in the word of God handed down to Moses.
Through this process, the captivity in Babylon was cast as little more than
an episode in the long history of the Jewish religion or the Jewish peoples.
In this way, Babylon, the true origin of Judaism, was erased. Along with
this, the fact that Judaism, once a universal religion, had fallen back to
a conventional religion ruled by a priestly authority was also forgotten.
As a result, Judaism came to be identiﬁed with the religion of the Jewish
In truth, Judaism continued to spread up to the time of Roman rule.
This was not really a matter of population growth among the Jews. Rather,
Judaism as a universal religion attracted many converts. For example,
the sect that sprang up around Jesus grew as one faction in Judaism.
They formed a collective, which was itinerant and communistic. We see a
similar development in other sects that emerged at the time, such as, for
example, the Essenes. These nomadic religious movements of Judaism
sought to recover the covenant community of the age of Babylon.
It might appear from the discussion to this point that universal religion
was disclosed solely by the Jewish prophets or those in that lineage. That
is not the case. In relation to this, a distinction drawn by Weber is sug-