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44925Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Paul

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  • dottie zold
    Jun 11, 2010
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      [edit] Hagar in Christian tradition

      The Casting out of Hagar, by Doré
      Christian commentary on Hagar begins with Paul the Apostle's Epistle to the Galatians, which asserts that the story of Hagar is a complex allegory:
      For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. (Galatians 4:22-31)
      Paul has been interpreted by some to be saying that Mount Sinai was also called "Agar", and that it was named after Hagar.[13] He links the laws of the Torah, given on Mount Sinai, to the bondage of the Israelite people, implying that it was signified by Hagar's condition as a bondswoman, while the "free" heavenly Jerusalem is signified by Sarah and her child.
      Saint Augustine developed this view, by saying that Hagar symbolised the earthly "city", or sinful condition of humanity: "In the earthly city (symbolised by Hagar)...we find two things, its own obvious presence and the symbolic presence of the heavenly city. New citizens are begotten to the earthly city by nature vitiated by sin but to the heavenly city by grace freeing nature from sin." (City of God 15:2)[2] This view was developed by medieval theologians such as Thomas Aquinas and John Wycliffe. The latter compared the children of Sarah to the redeemed, and those of Hagar to the unredeemed, who are "carnal by nature and mere exiles".[2]
      Paul's view was also used to link Hagar to Judaism, on the basis that the bondswoman Hagar represented bondage to the "old law", which the Christian dispensation had supplanted. In this respect Jews were seen - spiritually speaking - as descendants of Hagar, not Sarah.[14] The equation of Jews with descendents of Hagar was also used to justify the subordination of Jews in medieval Christian kingdoms, and even their expulsion, on the model of the subjection and expulsion of Hagar.[14]

      [edit] Arts and literature

      Hagar and the Angel, by Cecco Bravo
      Many artists have painted scenes from the story of Hagar and Ismael in the desert, including Pieter Lastman, Gustave Doré, Frederick Goodall and James Eckford Lauder.
      William Shakespeare refers to Hagar in The Merchant of Venice Act II Scene 4 line 40 when Shylock says "What says that fool of Hagar's offspring, ha?". This line refers to the character Launcelot, who Shylock is insulting by comparing him to the outcast Ishmael. It also reverses the conventional Christian interpretation by portraying the Christian character as the outcast.[2]
      Hagar's destitution and desperation are used as an excuse for criminality by characters in the work of Daniel Defoe, such as Moll Flanders, and the conventional view of Hagar as the mother of outcasts is repeated in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's play Zapolya, whose heroine is assured that she is "no Hagar's offspring; thou art the rightful heir to an appointed king."[2]
      In the nineteenth century a more sympathetic portrayal became prominent, especially in America in novels and poems in which Hagar herself, or characters named Hagar, were depicted as unjustly suffering exiles. These include Hagar by Pearl Rivers, Hagar in the Wilderness by Nathaniel Parker Willis and Hagar's Farewell by Augusta Moore.
      A similarly sympathetic view prevails in more recent literature. The novel The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence has a protagonist named Hagar married to man named Bram, whose life story loosely imitates that of the biblical Hagar. A character named Hagar is prominently featured in Toni Morrison's novel Song of Solomon, which features numerous Biblical themes and allusions. Hagar is mentioned briefly in Salman Rushdie's controversial novel The Satanic Verses, where Mecca is replaced with 'Jahilia', a desert village built on sand and served by Hagar's spring

      "Hence only by means of love can we give real help for karma to work out in the right way." Rudolf Steiner



      --- On Fri, 6/11/10, dottie zold <dottie_z@...> wrote:

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