Tag Archives: mythology

Matthew Arnold on the Bible as Literature

How did Matthew Arnold, in the light of the nineteenth century discoveries in science and the Higher Criticism, read the Bible? Answer: As literature and poetry. This from the excellent 1967 The Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Volume 1, 168): [I]n Literature and Dogma (London, … Continue reading

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The Greek God Pan

Then: Now:

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A LIBERAL AND HUMANIST Mythic Hero: Out of Compassion for Our Suffering and Ignorance, He Stole Fire from Heaven and Gave It to Mankind—and For This He Endured the Punishment of Zeus. An Image of PROMETHEUS Bound to a Rock, and a BIRD Plucking at His Liver

He fought the gods and, by exposing their injustice, delegitimized them, and won.

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What is an Etiological Narrative? And Might Confusion About Its Nature Be the Source for Fundamentalist Religion?

An etiological narrative is a story that purports to explain (in mythic, religious, or literary terms) the origin of something. It is, in other words, an imaginitive story triggered by a question about how (or why) something came to be in the … Continue reading

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Sarah Palin: The Far-Right’s Pied Piper—Playing a Real Pipe!

The followers: The leader: Where would you have us go, Sarah? Where you lead, we will follow. We won’t ask questions. And we’ll shut the mouths of those citified elite snobs that try to ask you questions. We’ve got your back Sarah. … Continue reading

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Tintoretto’s St. George and the Dragon: A Painting Dedicated to Thomas Muthee, Sarah Palin’s Exorcist and Vanquisher of Mama Jane, the “Witch” of Kiambu

Sarah Palin’s exorcist, Thomas Muthee, on Mama Jane: When we began to recognize who—or what—Mama Jane really was, Margaret and I set ourselves to prayer.

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Eros and Thanatos: A Gorgeous Image of Dionysus, Discovered at Pompeii, Standing Alongside a Tranquil Vesuvius BEFORE It Had Exploded

A two thousand year old image of Dionysus, discovered at Pompeii. Dionysus giveth, and Dionysus taketh away:

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Wall Street Bailout Metaphor Watch: From Bazookas in the Pocket to Mythical Sea Monsters

Talking Points Memo strings together the metaphors used in Senate committee hearings related to the Wall Street bailout: My favorite: Scylla and Charybdis (Mythical sea monsters that inhabit the strait between Sicily and Italy. If, as a sailor, you get too close … Continue reading

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Book Review of “Spectacles of Empire: Monsters, Martyrs, and the Book of Revelation”

Christopher Frilingos’s Spectacles of Empire: Monsters, Martyrs, and the Book of Revelation (University of Pennsylvania Press 2004) is a great academic text about the Book of Revelation, but it is also a fascinating uncovering of Roman cultural curiosities. The author, for example, … Continue reading

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Mercury in Profile (Los Angeles County Museum of Art 2008)

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History, Myth, or Something in Between: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about the Genre of the Gospels, But Were Afraid to Ask

When we look at the gospels, an important literary question that immediately confronts us is this: What genre (broadly speaking) are they written in? In other words, are we reading history, myth, or some combination of the two? Obviously, such … Continue reading

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