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MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2007

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2007

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Subject:

Re: Promotion of Violence by Religion

From:

Luis Gutierrez <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 Mar 2007 14:09:35 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

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medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Terrill Heaps wrote:
> medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture
> 
> Luis Gutierrez wrote:
> 
> 
>>However, the Thomas Aquinas teaching
>>is still perpetuated in many churches
>>that refuse to ordain women and give them
>>roles of religious authority.
>>This goes back to a literalist reading
>>of St Paul and Genesis 3:16.
> 
> 
> The fact that the Church only ordains males has nothing to do with Aquinas,
> who wasn't even born, until 1225.  Neither has it anything to do with the
> mythos of creation in Genesis. It has to do with following that which was
> established by the individual whom Luiz described as the one "who was fully
> human without ceasing to be fully divine."

What about St. Paul ... what about Genesis 3:16 ...

Yes, he is fully divine and fully human.  Therefore, unless women are 
not human, he assumed the totality of human nature -- male and female. 
Being male or female is one of the limitations of the human condition. 
Now we know (since Jung) that there is man in woman and woman in man, 
but that's another discussion.

And no, it has nothing to do with him, unless you insist in a 
*literalist* (as opposed to *literal*) reading of the bible.

> Luiz states in his original posting, "my working hypothesis is that the human
> propensity to violence is rooted in pre-historical religious violence."
> 
> If we take his presuposition that there is a "human propensity to violence,"
> one wonders how he manages to make the category leap from a "characteristic"
> of humanity to blaming that "characteristic" on religious inculturation. Of
> course, if religious inculturation is genetically transmittable to the next
> generation, then one might posit such a view. However, such a view as genetic
> transmission of religious inculturation is patently absurd. Religious
> inculturation happens subsequent to one's birth. We are humans at birth. To
> state that humans have a propensity toward violence, and further to state that
> such propensity toward violence is an effect of religious inculturation
> presents a problem. It requires the effect to antedate its own cause. And
> this, being absurd, cannot be.

Are you familiar with the work of French philosopher-anthropologist René 
  Girard?  He shows that there is an intrinsic link between violence and 
religion, and that this has been so since primitive religions practiced 
sacred violence (including human sacrifice) to appease the Gods when 
they were in trouble.  The crucifixion of Jesus is part of that pattern, 
but critical in that it was the religious sacrifice to end all religious 
sacrifice.  Girard's theory of religious violence is based on analysis 
of extant mythologies.  You may want to take a look at the following:

Colloquium on Violence and Religion
http://theol.uibk.ac.at/cover/index.html

Girardian Reflections on the Lectionary
http://www.girardianlectionary.net/

Heim, S. Mark. Saved from Sacrifice: A Theology of the Cross. Grand 
Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2006. Paperback: 346 pages.

Publisher's Description: "The cross has long been not only a scandal but 
also a profound paradox: filled with saving significance and power, it 
is at the same time a sobering tragedy. In Saved from Sacrifice 
theologian Mark Heim takes on this paradox, asserting that the cross 
must be understood against the whole history of human scapegoating 
violence. In order to highlight the dimensions of his argument, Heim 
carefully and critically draws on the groundbreaking work of French 
theorist and biblical scholar René Girard. Yet Heim goes beyond Girard 
to develop a comprehensive theology of the atonement and the cross 
through his fresh readings of well-known biblical passages and his 
exploration of the place of the victim."

The peace of Christ,
Luis

> Now, from Luiz's webpage, under "Mission Statement," we read:
> 
> "Violence is the main obstacle to human development. There is an intrinsic
> link between violence and religion, ...."
> 
> He states that "there is an intrinsic link between violence and religion"
> (quad erat demonstrandum). How does this develop?
> 
> I.. Religion is intrinsicly linked to violence.
> ....(A) Religious people are people who being linked to religion are therefore
> ..........intrinsicly linked to violence.
> ....(B) Which is to say that they are violent people.
> 
> II. The "Society of Friends" (Quakers) is a religious Society.
> ....(A) Quakers are a religious people.
> ....(B) Religious people (as it has been adduced) are intrinsicly linked to
> violence.
> ..........(1) Therefore, Quakers are intrinsicly linked to violence.
> ..........(2)  Which is to say that Quakers are violent people.
> 
> III. If violence is not perfectly all right, then it is a sin.
> ......(A) If it is a sin, then it is ipso facto immoral.
> ......(B) Because violence which is immoral is a sin, and because religion is
> ............intrinsicly linked to violence, it necessarily follows that to
> adhere to a ............religion is a sin.
> ......(C) It follows of necessity, then, that when religion tells its follower
> to eschew ............sin, it is also telling them to eschew religion.
> ......(D) But "sin" is an appellation that flows from religion.
> ...........(1) Therefore, the call of religion not to sin is a call from
> within sin not to .................be itself, which would be absurd.
> Consquently the call of religion not .................to sin must of necessity
> be a call to sin, if Luiz's adduction is right.
> 
> IV. Inasmuch as Jesus told his disciples to "go ye, therefore, and make
> disciples of ......all nations," Jesus by commanding the increase of religion
> was ipso facto ......commanding people to sin.
> ....(A) Since the encouraging of people to sin is itself a sin, Jesus is of
> necessity a ...........sinner, on two counts.
> ..........(1) By encouraging people to make more people adhere to religion,
> Jesus is ...............guilty of sin, as an accessory before the fact.
> ..........(2) Jesus established a religion--religions being sinful endeavors,
> which of ................necessity flows from Luiz's reasoning, for religion
> is intrinsicly linked ................to violence--it follows as a necessary
> conclusion that:
> ...............(a) Jesus was a sinner, and that
> ...............(b) Jesus was a violent person.
> 
> Oh well, enough!  Luiz's posting reminds me: Last Friday I drove through
> Corsicana, Texas, and while there, I stopped at the world famous Collin Street
> Bakery. <http://www.collinstreet.com>
> 
> Now, it's late, so I think I'll have my milk and cookies, and go to bed. Or,
> perhaps, to quote Ebeneezer Scrooge's remark to Jacob Marley, "I'll retire to
> Bedlam."
> 
> Violently yours,
> 
> Terrill
> 
> **********************************************************************
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> 
> 


-- 
Luis T. Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Editor, "Solidarity, Sustainability, and Non-Violence"
http://pelicanweb.org/solisust.html
[log in to unmask]

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