Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In Religious Dress

The Bible is a rich field of story and image, the most fertile bed of the imagination of the West. I have no problem with allegories and analogies drawn from Biblical models. But it seems to me a perverse misreading of the Bible to treat its stories as if they were themselves allegories of politics in religious dress.

I was once in a group of earnest young people wrestling with how to understand the mystical experience of God. One young man, not really in sympathy with the project, said it would be easy to find out: just go into the desert and fast for forty days. If you had a mystical experience, then it was real. This was such a perversely backwards way of understanding mysticism that we were left speechless. If you go into the desert and fast, but are not earnestly seeking God, you are not recreating the absolutely vital core of the desert mystics' experience. {full post}
[via Gruntled Center]

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