Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Material Matters

George Monbiot: God of the Soil

This is really thought provoking research out of the University of Oregon. Gives whole new meaning to the "ground" of religion, to the "roots" of Easter too. Probably the biggest discovery about the socio-historical background of mythology since Sir James George Frazer's
The Golden Bough back in 1890.

See also:

http://comm.uoregon.edu/newsreleases/2003/20031031B.html

Demeter, a.k.a, Ceres. Greek goddess of the earth, farming, grain.

1 Comments:

At 7:28 AM, Anonymous Mac said...

Hi E,

Outstanding article by Monbiot. His knowledge across the board is impressive to say the least.

As a Christian I had to laugh out loud at his pointing at the great ironies of Easter. How true.

On a more serious note, the idea of these powerfully formative religious views being bore out of native soil is fascinating...perhaps even more so if you remember that Adam was formed out of the earth of Eden and then spirit was breathed into him (you can take it as myth or otherwise..I don't think it matters).

One small point on "the Fall". Monbiot places it with Cain and Abel, when in fact, it happens clearly with Adam and Eve in Gen. 3. Cain's actions toward Abel are just further fallout. But his point on the City and being nomadic is brilliant.

Jacques Ellul wrote a book a few decades back called "The Meaning of the City" which I am still grappling with, both positively and negatively. I actually have a series of oil paintings based on this conflict that is still in production.

Given our brief discussions, I wonder what Becker would say? Ellul, in some places, sees the "City" as humanity's group attempt to replace God...to build their own reality (ala the "Tower of Babel"). Becker (I think) would see it as that "shared madness, agreed madness, but madness all the same"...a group "causi sui" project.

All that being said, I personally find a real draw to the City. I was in a recent dicussion with a guy who, like me, loves San Francisco exactly because it will not tolerate religious bullshit.

Maybe the City is not always humanity's replacement for God...maybe it's now a haven from dead religion?

Anyway...what a great post/article! I'm throwing that in the mix of stuff I have been exploring.

 

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