Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Metaphorical Fundamentalists

I just watched a short video clip by John Dominic Crossan, in which he compares all people--all of them (!)--who take a sacred text literally to Hitler.  Hitler described the Jews to "germs" which must be eradicated.  In the same way he states that those who believe in a "fundamentalist" way, i.e. believe the message of the text is literally true, (not just possibly metaphorically true), will describe their opponents as "evil" and in the end will take some sort of measures to eradicate them.

Woe-oe!  Did he just say that.  It seems to take one to know one.  Those who hold to a truth with become evil people because they will persecute and harm those who do not believe like they do. -- These kinds of people count as "scholars".

Someone once told me that there are no religious scholars in America.   Crossans sweeping non-analysis just confirms this generalization.  Of course, there are some scholars in America.  But it seems a good deal of what has gone as scholarship is a rehashing, popularizing and demonizing based on German "scholarship" or "science".

From how I read it recently, the 19th century in Germany spawned a lot of interesting work which was called "science", such as "Relgionswissenschaft"--"science of religion".  We should realize that none of the creative theories should be called a "science" in the way we use the word.   They should be called in inquiry, an interpretation, a philosophy, but they are anything but science;  and Crossan's little analogy does not establish him as a religious scholar but as a shallow demagogue, it seems to me.

Also see this:  http://beggarsallreformation.blogspot.ca/2013/08/understanding-john-dominic-crossan.html

and I am still reading this:  http://digital.library.sbts.edu/bitstream/handle/10392/2847/Anderson_sbts_0207D_10031.pdf?sequence=1

We have hundreds of millions of Christians under active persecution in the world, mostly at Muslim and Communist hands and this is the simple-minded analysis about violence.

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