Procrastination Technique #23 – Random Reads

The Bible: Uneditted director’s cut.

Having discovered in Greek class the more colourful language of Paul, I echo this article.

God is much more interested in honesty than pietism.

One frustration I have with theology: speculations that border on the absurd.

Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite.

“There is no way of knowing for sure that Jesus did not have one of the intersex conditions which would give him a body which appeared externally to be unremarkably male, but which might nonetheless have had some “hidden” female physical features.” (Dr Susannah Cornwall)

A different take on post-Holocaust theology: God is Dead.

William Hamilton declared in 1966 that “God is dead.” And he was a theologian. Now he has passed away.

“The death of God is a metaphor,” he said. “We needed to redefine Christianity as a possibility without the presence of God.”

I think there might be some points of convergence between the “death-of-God” theology and Anatheism. But Anatheism still wagers in some sort of presence. How Christianity could survive without an idea of the presence of God is difficult for me to imagine…perhaps Hamilton will be on my reading list in the future? (But not for a very long time!)

Guys and Body Image.

Hugo Schwyzer writes on the increasingly unrealistic body-image expectations put on…guys.

But in another way, guys do have it worse: they aren’t given permission to talk about their body anxieties. We expect women to worry out loud about how they look; girls are not only allowed to talk with their friends about weight, they’re almost required to do so. But if a guy wants to lose weight, or expresses too much concern about his appearance, his masculinity gets questioned…Many women assume that guys don’t care about their looks as much as girls, and they’re often taken aback and confused when their boyfriends admit to being insecure.

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Merton on Businesses

Businesses are, in reality, quasi-religious sects. When you go to work in one you embrace a new faith. And if they are really big businesses, you progress from faith to a kind of mystique. Belief in the product, preaching the product, in the end the product becomes the focus of a transcendental experience. Through ‘the product’ one communes with the vast forces of life, nature, and history that are expressed in business. Why not face it?  Advertising greats all products with the reverence and the seriousness due to sacraments.

Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

A Merton Miscellany – Raids on the Unspeakable, Pt 2

The Sane Nazi

One of the most disturbing facts that acme out in the [Adolf] Eichmann trail was that a psychiatrist examined him and pronounced him perfectly sane. I do not doubt it at all, and that is precisely why I find it disturbing….The sanity of Eichmann is disturbing. We equate sanity with a sense of justice, with humaneness, with prudence, with the capacity to love and understand other people. We rely on the sane people of the world to preserve it from barbarism, madness, destruction. And now it begins to dawn on us that it is precisely the sane ones who are the most dangerous.

Who are the sane ones in our society?

It is the sane ones, the well-adapted ones, who can without qualms and without nausea aim the missiles and press the buttons that will initiate the great festival of destruction that they, the sane ones, have prepared.

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A Merton Miscellany – Raids on the Unspeakable

Eschatological Christianity

Eschatology is not an invitation to escape into a private heaven: it is a call to transfigure the evil and stricken world. It is a witness to the end of this world of ours with its enslaving objectifications.

Nicholas Berdyaev quoted in Merton, Raids on the Unspeakable.

The practical conclusion derived from this faith [eschatological Christianity] turns into an accusation of the age in which I live and into a command to be human in this most inhuman of ages, to guard the image of man for it is the image of God.

Nicholas Berdyaev quoted in Merton, RU.

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