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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Astarte and Mary

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  • Larry Swain
    Lynn, Certainly the interpretation you give is one of the readings of that text; but since there have been a number of interpretations based in Scripture and
    Message 1 of 31 , Jun 11, 2013
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      Certainly the interpretation you give is one of the readings of that text; but since there have been a number of interpretations based in Scripture and none fully follow through to the end and have problems with them on a close reading, claiming that *one* is X seems to me problematic in the extreme.  In fact the "she's a type of Israel" is a somewhat anti-Catholic interpretation in its historical context.  Further, identifying the elements of the vision with Joseph's in Genesis 37 likewise breaks down since in the latter case the moon, sun, and stars bow down to Joseph, a male and in Revelation they serve and are under a woman....and how does the connection with Israel not break down even allegorically in verses 5-6?  See the problems here?
      As for not referring to Mary as queen of heaven because of a half dozen references in 2 chapters in Jeremiah about a different religious practice altogether, anymore than referring to Jesus as "son of God" or "Christ" or "messiah" or "savior" and the like should be avoided because other references within and without the Bible use the names of other people/deities/practices.  Should we not call God God because "god" is a pre-Christian word used of other deities, including those who received human sacrifice?  Some of course would respond yes, but I find this sort of reasoning problematic as well. Certainly a millenium of Christians who know the Bible just as well as we found no problem referring to Mary as Queen of Heaven since her role, her position, her imagery is utterly and completely different than that in Jeremiah of a "heathen" practice.
      Larry Swain
      On Tue, Jun 11, 2013, at 03:52 AM, lynnmaudlin wrote:

      Carl, the woman referenced in Revelation 12, "A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; and she was with child; and she cried out, being in labor and in pain to give birth..." (verses 1 & 2), is a type, a personification, of the nation Israel - it's the description used in Joseph's dream, way back in Genesis 37:9-10, interpreted by Israel himself. You can argue it's Mary giving birth to Jesus (I've also heard it's the Church but, as she is meant to be the virgin bride of Christ, it doesn't really follow) but the Mary analogy breaks down in verse 5-6, etcetera: "And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron; and her child was caught up to God and to His throne. Then the woman fled into the wilderness where she had a place prepared by God, so that there she would be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days." By the end of the chapter it's clearly not referring to the historical woman Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

      I would personally not refer to Mary as "Queen of Heaven", specifically because of the Jeremiah 7 and 44 accounts of the "Queen of Heaven" as a wicked, worship-stealing deity - worshiping her was not a good thing, it was an actively destructive thing, so in my mind it dishonors a highly honorable woman to impose that title upon her. And I find no positive "queen of heaven" corollary, so I avoid it altogether. Mary is blessed and honorable indeed, in a most mind-boggling way!
      -- Lynn --
      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
      > On Jun 10, 2013, at 12:13 AM, aveeris523 <aveeris523@...> wrote:
      > > It's more like the names changing while the basic concept remains. New cultures re purposed older deities, holidays, built new churches on older holy sites.
      > If you mean by this to assert that Mary's title of Queen of Heaven has to do with or owes anything to Astarte, then to paraphrase Tolkien (who would have taken considerable umbrage and even offense to such an assertion), "both were female, and there the resemblance stops". Mary is called the Queen of Heaven because, as mother of the Church, which is the Bride of Christ, she is Queen to His King; and because she is identified with the "woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head" in Revelations 12. Neither of these have anything to do with Astarte, and are thus completely self-sufficient and consistent rationales for the title, having nothing at all to do with the figure, nature, or character of Astarte.
      > > Mary, the mother of Jesus would have been baffled at the idea of being eventually referred to by the title of a major pagan goddess.
      > Perhaps — on the other hand, she herself proclaimed that "all generations shall call me blessed" — but if so, no more so than she would have been at being called Mother of God — which doesn't change the fact that she _is_.
      > Carl

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    • Tony Zbaraschuk
      ... For that matter, there s Michael Witzel s _The Origins of the World s Mythologies_, which is grand synthesis on an almost unbelievable scale (myths,
      Message 31 of 31 , Jun 17, 2013
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        On Mon, Jun 17, 2013 at 02:36:10PM -0700, John Rateliff wrote:
        > And it's just as interesting to see what current thinking among
        > the historians and archeologists and scientist is on some of these
        > same issues -- e.g., the recent Cunliffe and Koch volume CELTIC
        > FROM THE WEST, which I only learned about at this year's Kalamazoo,
        > challenges a lot of what I'd been taught about the origins of the
        > Celts and turns it on its head.

        For that matter, there's Michael Witzel's _The Origins of the World's
        Mythologies_, which is grand synthesis on an almost unbelievable
        scale (myths, linguistics, genetics -- all leading back to reconstructing
        common mythological structures and heading back into common elements
        among groups that have been separated since the colonization of
        Australia...) Just recently out, and very interesting.

        Tony Z

        Courage is a virtue. It does not follow that all
        courageous acts are in the service of virtuous ends.
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