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Huh. Via utforsker. Equally offensive to mainstream Monotheists and Pagans. Yet possessed of a very discomfiting bit of truth. Thoughts, anyone?

Also, today is the 7-year anniversary of my first day working at this organization. Why does this make me queasy?

Some people get motion-sick; I get inertia-sick.


Feb. 22nd, 2005 06:55 pm (UTC)
(Hi, friended you via katie_m

You know...I'm the most anti-religion/spirituality/supernatural person I know. I really do think that humans absolutely need to evolve beyond religion and they need to do it yesterday. But...the one thing religious studies will not suffer is oversimplification. I need to think some more before I respond to utforsker, but once you get over the quickshot appeal of religion-as-male-control-system, some of his analogies and logical processes (not to mention his, ah, inspired version of ancient history) just...don't work all that well. I mean, we certainly agree more than we disagree, but I would never frame the argument that way myself.
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
D'oh, I mean city_of_dis. Wow, senior moment.
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:53 pm (UTC)
Welcome! I've seen you around, and admire your writing very much.

Would love to hear your thoughts about this, if you can encapsulate them. I can see how the historical basis he postulates might be a little specious, huh?
Feb. 22nd, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
(You're very kind.)

Historical accuracy aside, I've just got issues with any one-page theory of religious origins that includes global conspiracy theory in any serious capacity. Just a quirk.
Feb. 22nd, 2005 11:14 pm (UTC)
Kinda like Marxists (especially young ones) who think EVERYTHING in history is an aspect of the Class Struggle(tm). Was there class struggle going on? Sure, but there was plenty of other stuff, too. Did religion server a function as a means of social control? Sure, but it served many other functions as well. And one shouldn't assume that social control is a purely negative thing, either. I mean, people have a tendency to do some nasty things to one another, especially when there isn't enough food to go around, and there are good reasons to want to control that.

And conversely, there were plenty of means of social control, unpleasant by modern standards, that were largely independent of religion. Many of the customs regarding women in Arab and Central Asian cultures--repressive to modern Western eyes--actually predate Islam and were not originally religious in character. The social context makes a difference, too. Christianity's emphasis on female chastity might seem repressive today, but in the 1st century, it actually served as a force for female liberation, by providing a socially legitimate means of avoiding subjugation by a husband, e.g., Thekla and her killer seals.



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