About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


R-Rated Patriarchs

The Bible is a surprisingly earthy book. It is full of unheroic heroes with important lessons to teach. It presents life in its raw and un-adorned nature. In this very essence, the Bible resists being made into some simple-to-follow set of rules and doctrines. And this un-tamed nature is the Bible’s greatest value. Take for instance such shocking behaviour as biblical patriarchs pimping their wives. I know many would object to the use of this verb, but that is exactly what we are told they were doing - presenting their spouses as their sisters and offering them to potentates for personal benefit. Just check Genesis 12, Genesis 20 and Genesis 26!  
Semitic people present in Egypt:
Semitic goddess Qadesh on lion
flanked by Semitic god Resheph
and Egyptian god Min, patron of fertility.   
      Threefold recidivism especially unsettled many pious souls as well as theologians and interpreters. Many tried to rationalize these surprising stories. Fundamentalists, unable to defend patriarchal actions, attempted to exonerate them at least from lying - their wives were indeed their blood relatives! Religionists (students of religions) might point out that these stories are some kind of myths reworked into patriarchal legends. As represented on number of Egyptian stelae. Folklorists attempted to reduce the count of stories by seeing them all coming from one original oral tradition. Dogmatists highlighted moral lessons: learning to trust God, and the dangerous short-sightedness of human schemes. Anthropologists suspected some ancient practice of sharing wives with strangers, (well documented in other cultures.) Feminists saw it as a literary device highlighting the stellar beauty of the vulnerable matriarchs while denouncing the callous values of patriarchal system. To a different degree all these observations offer important and relevant insights.
       For me these stories reflect the deepest visceral fears of many refugees, migrants and other marginalized groups in our society. In a foreign culture, in a foreign land, confronted with strange customs, an exposed minority, unprotected and vulnerable, ... in such a situation even deep seated taboos can collapse. Our own Biblical patriarchs help us to understand these dangerous dynamics of alienation and fear. Our own Biblical patriarchs show us why it is important to protect all the vulnerable strangers above and beyond the protection which is enjoyed by the natives. The Bible is surprisingly earthy, practical and radical book. This Sunday we will pray for economic refugees.
       Our guest this Sunday - Rick Ufford-Chase, Moderator of the 216th General Assembly and Human Rights Activist will share with us his first hand experiences around and on both sides of the US-Mexican border.

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