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8249Libertine ritual (questions from Peter)

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  • pmcvflag
    Sep 8, 2003
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      >>>PMCV, I do understand how flawed a source Irenaeus is, is that the
      reason that you are discounting the use of sperm and menses by the
      various sects?

      It would seem curious to assume that because the enemies of the
      Gnostics accuse them of this that it was not true. Was this based on
      a misinterpretation of a text/texts by the accusers? Is this a
      cultural slur?

      My reasoning is simply that these fluids have been and are used as
      the highest form of sacrament in a variety of traditions and your
      answer seems to be a very firm NO. So, my question is simply why not?
      <<<

      Hey Peter, Cari got me exactly on this one. I am not saying that such
      a thing could not possibly have existed anywhere in the entire
      hellenistic world.... perhaps even in some small unknown sect
      of "Gnostics". I am saying that it is unlikely, but not that it is
      impossible.

      To add to this, I am also saying that the specific charges against
      specific groups that people like Irenaeus have leveled have not stood
      up to critical inquiry, which leaves us in a particular spot.... it
      leaves us with no accusations. Lady Cari's list of posts will recount
      much of this for you, but let me also recap it in my own way.

      Imagine this.... pretend I am writing an attack on Christianity. So,
      I go pick up the Christian "New Testement" and I read the part about
      the Eucharist. I take the "this is my body.... this is my blood" and
      I say "Christians are cannibals, and they must be stopped". I then
      take a common urban myth about scary sects that kill babies, and also
      have sex rituals that include a dog... and I conclude that Christians
      are that sect, so they also use a dog in a sex ritual... not based on
      anything I read, but based on the connection I make through the
      sacrifice and eating of humans. This was the method that Irenaeus
      used against the Gnostics, and the method that some Romans actually
      used against Christians when they accused them of Cannibalism. Even
      more telling, some of the lists of accusations are repeated, almost
      verbatum, in so many sources of the time against so many people that
      we KNOW were not guilty, that eventually there is simply no substance
      to even entertain the possibility.

      Is it theorhetically possible that some Christians somewhere really
      did kill and eat humans based on the ritual of the eurcharist? Sure,
      we can always say it is theorhetically possible... and maybe someday
      we will find some evidence. Without that evidence though, we
      currently have no good reason to speculate on the possibility. In
      fact, if it really did happen it is far more likely that it was a
      later sect that was trying to recreate some form of "Christianity"
      based on the account given by the Roman accuser. By the same token,
      if such a thing ever happened in a "Gnostic" sect, it probably
      happens with a much later group attempting to recreate Gnosticism
      based on the accounts of Christian accusers.

      PMCV
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