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RE: [XTalk] Re: Tomb of Christ?

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  • Barlow, James C. DOC
    The power of mythical conception ancient man has over our own precludes accuracy in the notion, repeated here, that religions are rationalistic systems.
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2001
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      The power of mythical conception ancient man has over our own precludes
      accuracy in the notion, repeated here, that religions are "rationalistic
      systems." They were and to a limited extent still are 'anyting but'--!

      -----Original Message-----
      From: mgrondin@... [mailto:mgrondin@...]
      Sent: Monday, July 30, 2001 9:45 PM
      To: crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [XTalk] Re: Tomb of Christ?

      --- Steve Black wrote:
      > I'm not suggesting that sociological/poltical models aren't crucial,
      > but that if we want to understand the ancient world, religion ought
      > not to be forced into the back seat!

      Actually, I think it should be. I'll try to explain what I mean, but
      first, let's agree to get rid of this talk of sociological models.
      That wasn't what we were talking about originally, and I'm not much
      of a fan of 'em, anyway. We're talking about politics - which I take
      as deriving from basic human nature. As opposed to that, ideologies
      (including religious systems) are rationalistic inventions of our
      minds, and, as such, will always be made to serve our basic political
      interests, and will always be that which yields when a choice comes
      between the two. Did the ideology of Marxism, for example, prevent
      the rulers of a supposed Marxist state from serving their own
      self-interest at the expense of "the masses"? Was the "love ethic"
      of Christianity allowed to stand in the way of the Inquisition and
      the Crusades? Obviously not, but why not? Isn't it evident that
      there's a basic dynamic at work that causes us to rationalize and
      idealize our self-interests, i.e., what we really want to do or have
      happen? So the ideological differences between these two competing
      "Houses" of priests is not so important, I would say, as the fact of
      their political enmity. Of course, we use ideologies to distinguish
      political groups, but once having done so, the specific ideologies
      involved might as well be 'X' and 'Y', for all the good they do in
      explaining historical events.

      Mike G.

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