Re: [asa] Re: Reading Genesis theologically NOT historically

From: IW <>
Date: Sun Oct 04 2009 - 00:17:11 EDT

Hash: SHA1

Murray Hogg wrote:

> What people fail to grasp is that ancient peoples are not benighted
> moronic sub-humans with no grasp of the fact that their tribe is NOT the
> only tribe on the planet. They are perfectly aware that their origins
> stories don't, by-and-large, serve as a universal human story and that
> they don't, by-and-large, account for OTHER tribal groups origins.
> Rather they regard their stories as "our story" whilst those of other
> tribes are "their story" and there is scant consideration given to
> reconciling the two. I am reminded of a remark of Nabokov: "<snip>
> What's critical here (and very relevant to the remarks in your post) is
> that the tribal stories connect to persons, events, and places which are
> significant in the tribal context. I

I have been following these posts with great interest. I am for all
intents and purposes in agreement with Murray and in particular your
emphasis on relationship.

I would add that what you refer to (when looking at the aborginal
creation myths) is very similar to what I see in my neck of the woods.
The stories told are clearly mythological but historical insomuch as
they do report on a historical reality. Interestingly they are always
told as if they are the ONLY people and yet at the same time the tribes
are very aware that other tribes and people's exist.

Their stories show clear migration and historical events - but these are
described through the myth. So whilst pigs and dogs do not talk and
people did not originate out of holes in the ground - they did follow
the routes the myths lay out.

Interestingly each succeeding generation that tells its story tell ONLY
a set number of generations (Their oral history). So my father recounts
x generations, his father x generation,s his father x generations and x
never changes even though people are aware that in fact, the generations
are in change (death and birth).

Thus the stories tell what is essential for the culture only marking the
people and generations of note.

I have oft struggled with those who insist on a literal historical
reading of Genesis as if the writers (who were almost certainly
recording orally held stories) were born in the Western world sometimes
in the last 100 years or so.

ANyhow, thanks again Murray for your clear thinking and for helping me
understand some of this in a way I had not seen before.

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Received on Sun Oct 4 00:18:27 2009

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