Re: Re: Subversion
- I can not think of any sort of totalitarian regime where Puddleglum's retort to the Green Lady would not be subversive. And that includes religious or intellectual totalitarianism as well as political.
Think of how Roman Catholicsm nurtured subversives in Poland or the Baptist Church the desegregation and voting rights movement in the US. Would Dr King or the Polish union orginizers have been as strong without religion? Been as strong against what appeared to be overwhelming odds? The very idea of why totalitarism is wrong came out of Christianity. Aithiests who work against totalitariansism should understand that the arguments against totalitarianism only came into being because of the basic Christian value that every human being has a soul of incalcubale worth, and that every single soul is worth exactly the same.
Why do you think Feminism started in the West? Or the idea of universal sufferage. Social justice. Even rationalism is based on the Church's teaching about reason.
Anti-Christian bigots libel that Christians favor death over life but that is wrong. What it true is that we do not fear death or failure in the same way. We know our actions may come to naught but ... that does not make them unimportant or insignificent. Because we are not materialists we know that no human being is ever unimportant or insignifient The idea of some sort of larger, "realer" reality makes life and how you live it more important in the here and now, not less. I think Lewis may say all this and more in "The Weight of Glory."
This shows up in all the Inklings books. Or, as my husband says -- there are some things worse than death. The courage in Tolkein, the valor in Lewis, the bravery of virtue in Williams, all are subversive. But not just courage, so are the other 6 virtues. The very idea of virtue is subversive -- that power is not ours thou it may be given us, and that we are responsible to something greater for how we choose to use it -- in service or in domination.
Other spiritual traditions can also be subversive --I can certianly think of Pagan, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist examples. Can this be misused?--Well, of course, we are talking about human beings. But removing religion from our species is not the answer since humans without religion are just as capable of massacre as humans with it. History so amply proves this I wonder how any can doubt that the problem, dear Horatios... lies in our humanselves.
In a totalitarian regeme there is no external escape. Anything you ever say or do can be used against you in any sort of unjust way. All power is arrayed against you -- which should lead to despair. The mass culture is constantly indoctrinating you against yourself. There is nowhere to turn outside of yourself. The only freedom is within. Anything that nurtures this inner freedom is subversive. Anything that presents a bigger picture than what the ruling regeme presents is subversive. Religion is power from within and in that may be mankind's salvation in ways we do not even understand yet.
Sorry for this semi-screed, semi-off topic. But it is a topic I have had to learn more about than I would have ever chosen. And therefore feel deeply.
Even when the Inklings wrote about worlds that were not Christian, their own Christian faith shaped those worlds. Even though there is no explicit Christianity in LOTR ,for me, I can feel Christianity(and honorable paganism) in the whole story itself, in the eucatastrope and how it comes about through characters choosing to enact virtues like bravery, mercy and humility, in the face of despair and utter futility.
I would agrue, btw, that the Harry Potter books are also subversive in this way. In fact, most SF and fanstasy -- by offering alternatives to mass culture's reality, by questioning mass culture's reality, are capable, if well handled, to bear this function.
Thanks for letting me explode on this.
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- Boy, am I going...
It could even be argued that the secular reason for Christianity's springing up when and where it did -- was that it was a very specific Jewish response to the atrocity of the first great totalitarian empire. And that this specific response touched a need in people all over the empire so that even in the face of persecution, Christianity grew till the empire had to resort to co-opting it.
To what extent the empire suceeded, or that Christianity then co-opted it, are matters for debate. But for me, Christianity is at its best when it transforms empire.
And aren't alot of the Inklings' writings about just that?
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*I'm* not the one who needs convincing-- maybe some of your fellow
*Christians*... and, you *know who I am talking about. It is my
profound opinion that it is only Christians who actually practice
Christianity (such as yourself) who *can* confront the hateful
behavior of those who call themselves "Christian" but don't seem to
practice any religion except intolerance. (One could say that of other
religions as well, including atheism -- so don't let *me* get started,
Now, who was it that said that religion isn't subversive? Golly, Let
me talk to you about Mathilda Joselyn Gage, Matthew Fox, Starhawk, Joy
Wolfwommon, Starr King.... In fact, where have you *Been* the last
I find Lewis and Tolkien to have subversive elements, and interesting
ones. Just because neither author beats you over the head with it
doesn't mean it's not *there*.
--- In email@example.com, Cai Cherie <eternityfindsitself@y...>
>springing up when and where it did -- was that it was a very specific
> Boy, am I going...
> It could even be argued that the secular reason for Christianity's
Jewish response to the atrocity of the first great totalitarian
empire. And that this specific response touched a need in people all
over the empire so that even in the face of persecution, Christianity
grew till the empire had to resort to co-opting it.
>co-opted it, are matters for debate. But for me, Christianity is at
> To what extent the empire suceeded, or that Christianity then
its best when it transforms empire.
> And aren't alot of the Inklings' writings about just that?
> Yahoo! Photos
> Got holiday prints? See all the ways to get quality prints in your
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