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TSE  August 2007

TSE August 2007

Subject:

Re: Fearing death by water

From:

robert meyer <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

T. S. Eliot Discussion forum.

Date:

Sat, 11 Aug 2007 20:53:16 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (100 lines)

>"If there is a god, I see no reason at all why we should assume she hates
her creation or thinks loving it is sinful."

Agreed, as the recurring phrase in Genesis 1 says, "It is good."

Robert

> [Original Message]
> From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 8/11/2007 8:36:58 PM
> Subject: Re: Fearing death by water
>
> The problem with the distinction you are trying to make is that the
> Catholic Church--and others of course--has historically identified sin
> with the body and its desires.  So hatred of sin and hatred of the body
> are inextricably connected.  
>
> This comes of a false (and I think destructive) hierarchy of body as low
> or ignoble and spirit as high or noble.  It's already there in Plato's
> Phaedrus very explicitly, and it runs all through much theology--and is
> unavoidably linked to monastic idealization of a soul that transcends
> the body.  If there is a god, I see no reason at all why we should
> assume she hates her creation or thinks loving it is sinful.  I wish
> there were half the fretting over sins of the spirit.  (Yes, I know it's
> there in the texts and in Dante is far worse than those of the body; I'm
> talking about what is, not just what has been said.)
> Nancy
>
> >>> robert meyer <[log in to unmask]> 08/11/07 11:12 PM >>>
> > Diana Manister wrote:
> >
> > > Tom, if the body is seen as an impediment to salvation,
> > > its destruction is a good thing, right?
> >
>
> I think you're slightly missing the point, it's not the body, in and of
> itself, that it the problem.  The problem here is sin, the fallen nature
> of
> man.  When Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount if your eye causes you
> to
> sin pluck it out and if your right hand causes you to sin cut it off
> (Matt
> 5:29-30), he was not really endorsing blindness or amputation but saying
> sin is SO worthless a person should do anything to avoid it.
>
>
> > Carrol Cox wrote:
> >
> > > You describe Manichaeism.... Hatred of the body is
> > > heresy because it casts doubt on the doctrine of the
> > > Incarnation and the Sacrament of the Mass. Gnosticism
> > > had a similar hatred of the body.
> >
>
> Yes and no.  Mani and almost all other Gnostics had a dualism inherited
> from Persian Zoroastrianism that said there were two gods, a good god
> that
> was ONLY spirit and a bad god that was ONLY matter, and that the earth
> was
> their battleground.  As Christianity became a common topic of
> conversation,
> the Gnostics adopted some of the divine characters to their thinking:
> YHWH,
> God in the Old Testament, became their bad god of matter and Jesus, God
> in
> the New Testament, became their good god  consisting only of spirit. 
> That
> created some bizarre teachings, namely that Jesus was only a vision or
> 3-D
> projection (like the character of the "Doctor" on Star Trek: Voyager)
> and
> therefore wasn't really crucified, it just 'looked' like it.  
>
> Note to Diana on the "Da Vinci Code" book and film: if it was true to
> Gnostic teaching, Jesus could never have sex with anyone because he
> would
> just be a noncorporeal image.
>
>
> >Nancy Gish wrote:
> >
> > > I do think, though, that hatred of the body is theoretically
> > > denied but practically affirmed by much of Christian
> > > thought even though the Incarnation presumably makes
> > > that utterly false.
> >
>
> Again, it's not so much of a hatred of the body, in and of itself, but a
> hatred of sin.  In the 6th chapter of his letter to the church at Rome,
> Paul says to "not let sin reign in your mortal bodies" because, as
> Christians, we are dead to sin, "baptized with [Jesus] into his death"
> and
> now live as part of him (see also 1st Corinthians 12, with the "body of
> Christ" metaphor).  Romans 6 also states that we are either "slaves to
> sin"
> or else "slaves to God" (no third option like 'free will').
>
>
> Robert Meyer

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