Re:RE: [John_Lit] John's Gospel and these Tragic Times
- Dear Jeffery and other Folk:
Yes, these are poignant times, and such reflections certainly are timely if
anything. I too found myself ruminating on the destruction of the World Trade
Center, and it hit me, that our feelings as a nation must have been similar to
those of the Jewish people when they lost their Temple in 597 BCE and 70 CE.
Although the WTC will never be the religious center that the Temple was, it
certainly was a cultural center, full of similar national symbolism, and the
like. One could very much consider it a secular Temple of Capitalism for all
its strategic economic significance. In that respect, the centrality of it as
a redistribution center certainly has specific parallels to the ancient Temple,
it would seem. For the first time, I think I understand some of the feelings
that lay behind the ninth of Ab, and the various Temple destruction texts in
both the OT and NT. Certainly, it is as close was we in this nation will ever
come to having experienced what texts like that are 'about'. I just remember
thinking, as I watched the replays of those twin towers coming down on CNN, "I
wonder if those ancient priests felt the same way as I do when I see this."
Sept. 11th will be our nation's 9th of Ab. It also hit me, that holocaust
theology has now become a little more real to our common public, especially as
it attempts to deal with the absurdity of this event. Then it dawned upon me
that post-colonial interpretation and holocaust theology may be fruitful
partners, indeed, intricately and inextricably tied together, as America looks
to its religious leaders to 'explain' this tragedy. In that respect, this event
has not only 'aged' our nation, but also laid the foundation for a deeper look
at the significance of the texts we discuss on this and other similar forums.
That, to me, is the silver lining I find in these events as I ponder its meaning
in light of scriptural experiences. I say 'silver lining', and not meaning, for
the simple reason that such absurdity hardly ever gives up meaning in any
completely satisfactory manner. At least, that is what my readings in holocaust
theology have impressed upon me. But it is good, very good for us to pause and
reflect on this event as a forum. It can only make our future ruminations on
biblical texts more illuminating for our own day.
Gary D. Salyer