I recently encountered an interesting discussion in Dr. Sholom Rosenberg's In the Foosteps of Kuzari". On pp.137-139 of the second volume, he develops the concept that classic Aristotelean philosophy was built on pagan assumptions. Thus, Aristotle believed that supernal spheres each had an Intelligence that moved it, which Rambam identified with angels but Aristotle himself saw as gods. Dr. Rosenberg points out that Aristotle himself, on one of his lost manuscripts that only became available after the MIddle Ages, thought that Paganism evovled out of ancient philosophy and that the concept of multiple gods arose on the basis of having to explain how these spheres moved. By providing each one with an internal "engine", it was able to explain the working of the spheres, and from there humanity moved onto the concept of a Pantheon of gods.
I found this interesting because in a recent shiur we discussed the disagreement of the Kuzari with this Aristotelean idea tha the "lifeforce" of each object is located within it. Instead, R. Yehuda Halevi posited a Divine Force (Inyan Eloki), that rests on each object in the Universe from the outside and serves as its Lifeforce and agent of movement. The different perception of what animates things also leads to the distinctly different views of "nature". The former sees it as something internal to the World, while the latter sees is as being external to it. This obviously has major effects on the religious viewpoint. Pagan gods existed within the world, subject to tis laws and animated by the same forces that move humans, desire for power, victory and lust. Spinoza's God was also within the world, as its Life-force. Biblical God, on the other hand, may be described in some human terms but is certainly outside of the World, having created it. Unlike human-like pagan gods, God has no sexual nature and all His descriptions are easily explained in non-literal terms.
Dr. Rosenberg goes on to point out that Newton produced a conceptual revolution by positing an outside element, the force of gravity, as the agent that causes objects to move. Aristotle did not know why objects move and thought that their natural state is to be at rest. Consequently, he had to posit an internal force, something similar to a soul, that set spheres in motion, and which in turn caused sublunar objects to be set in motion. Newton innovated the concept of inertia and proposed that objects naturally remain in motion unless they are stopped by an external force, usually friction. An object would remain in motion unless stopped by something else. This opened the door to the Deist view of God as the originator of the universe, a glorified clockmaker who wound up the Universe and stepped back to watch it continue in its preset course. This view was in turn undermined by the recent discoveries in theoretical physics that produced fantastic and counterintuitive pictures of the universe as a jumble of shifting fields, fluxes, structures and relationships, a picture to which popular religion has not yet fully responded. It is, of course, the view of reality found in Kabbola, which, I think, makes Kabbola indispensable to any contemporary religious Weltschaung.
In general, I find the concept that our assumptions about the World affect the models that we use to understand Biblical narratives and to formulate our religious language, to be a poweful tool and a warning for any religious philosopher. We must remain focused on the forms and formulations of the traditional religious discourse and thake extreme care that we do not infuse them with time-bound, perceptually distorted contemporary content, at least, not without the caveat that the forms and traditions are unchanging while our fromulations are merely a time-bound attempt to understand them as best as we can, until better explanations come along.