I think evangelicals would do better if they concentrated less on bolstering the formal authority of the Scripture - which I certainly would want to affirm - and more on displaying how biblical texts can shape lives in salutary ways, how they are fruitful texts, how they are texts one can live according to.
Adornment, exoticism, affectation are all willed decadent strategies meant to pervert the texts they made. Decadent texts often live in their descriptive excursions, in their evocation of dreams, mysterious places and states of mind, in their excess of words, not events. The surface of the texts, the sound of the words, point to themselves as manufactured, as illusion. The decadents attempted to create texts that announced themselves as artifice.
I like to be challenged with language, so I start to do texts for my blogs that people can download, can spread. There is no commercial interest behind it. It's only for fun, like doing something that you really enjoy to do. I have texts that I write specifically for the internet and I put them there. I am interested in how readers also respond to the texts that I write to them.
As historical texts become rich and conceptually dense, readers may slow down not because they fail to comprehend, but because the very act of comprehension demands that they stop to TALK with their texts. In plain English, they pretend to deliberate with others by talking to themselves.
I have argued elsewhere (Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence ) that we need to treat ethics in biblical texts just as we treat ethics in any other works of ancient literature. It is a vacuous exercise to pick and choose which atrocities were really ordained by any gods and which were not. We should have a zero-tolerance view of any text or collection of texts that at any time endorses genocide, misogyny, and other atrocities. We always judge ancient texts by modern ethical standards, and the Bible should not be treated differently.
Those who would assail the Book of Mormon should bear in mind that its veracity is no more dubious than the veracity of the Bible, say, or the Qur'an, or the sacred texts of most other religions. The latter texts simply enjoy the considerable advantage of having made their public debut in the shadowy recesses of the ancient past, and are thus much harder to refute.
Although some popular religious texts such as the New Testament, Quran, Bhagavad Gita, Tao Te Ching, or Tibetan Book of the Dead contain interesting insights and stories, it is the Jewish religious texts such as the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) that contain valuable information on acquiring wealth.
When I talk of primordial innocence, I hear it in Sufi music with the nay flute. I see it in Coptic icons, in most traditional art, particularly art of the American Indian. I find the texts extraordinarily beautiful and very childlike and very simple. I've been particularly interested in American Indian texts.
Contemporary fantasists all bow politely to Lord Tennyson and Papa Tolkien, then step around them to go back to the original texts for inspiration--and there are a lot of those texts. We have King Arthur and his gang in English; we've got Siegfried and Brunhild in German; Charlemagne and Roland in French; El Cid in Spanish; Sigurd the Volsung in Icelandic; and assorted 'myghtiest Knights on lyfe' in a half-dozen other cultures. Without shame, we pillage medieval romance for all we're worth.
How many times have you struggled with the interpretation of certain Biblical texts related to the time of Jesus' return because they did not fit with a preconceived system of eschatology? Russell's Parousia takes the Bible seriously when it tells us of the nearness of Christ's return. Those who claim to interpret the Bible literally, trip over the obvious meaning of these time texts by making Scripture mean the opposite of what it unequivocally declares. Reading Russell is a breath of fresh air in a room filled with smoke and mirror hermeneutics.
The concept of an author, the single creative person who gives the text 'authority', only comes later in this period. Most Old English poetry is anonymous, even though names which are in no way comparable, such as Caedmon and Deor, are used to identify single texts. Caedmon and Deor might indeed be as mythical as Grendel, might be the originators of the texts which bear their names, or, in Deor's case only, the persona whose first-person voice narrates the poem. Only Cynewulf 'signed' his works, anticipating the role of the 'author' by some four hundred years.
The authors analyzed 695 news items. The content of 47.9% (n = 333) of the articles was not strictly related to mental illness, but rather clinical or psychiatric terms were used metaphorically, and frequently in a pejorative sense. The remaining 52.1% (n = 362) consisted of news items related specifically to mental illness. Of these, news items linking mental illness to danger were the most common (178 texts, 49.2%), specifically those associating mental illness with violent crime (130 texts, 35.9%) or a danger to others (126 texts, 34.8%). The results confirm the hypothesis that the press treats mental illness in a manner that encourages stigmatization. The authors appeal to the press's responsibility to society and advocate an active role in reducing the stigma towards mental illness. Reinforcing Stigmatization: Coverage of Mental Illness in Spanish Newspapers. Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives. Volume 19, Issue 11, 2014
such criticism and mockery are largely beside the point. All religious belief is a function of nonrational faith. And faith, by its very definition, tends to be impervious to to intellectual argument or academic criticism. Polls routinely indicate, moreover, that nine out of ten Americans believe in God-most of us subscribe to one brand of religion or another. Those who would assail The Book of Mormon should bear in mind that its veracity is no more dubious than the veracity of the Bible, say, or the Qur'an, or the sacred texts of most other religions. The latter texts simply enjoy the considerable advantage of having made their public debut in the shadowy recesses of the ancient past, and are thus much harder to refute.
It goes without saying that these effects do not suffice to annul the necessity for a 'change of terrain.' It also goes without saying that the choice between these two forms of deconstruction cannot be simple and unique. A new writing must weave and interlace these two motifs of deconstruction. Which amounts to saying that one must speak several languages and produce several texts at once. I would like to point out especially that the style of the first deconstruction is mostly that of the Heideggerian questions, and the other is mostly the one which dominates France today. I am purposely speaking in terms of a dominant style: because there are also breaks and changes of terrain in texts of the Heideggerian type; because the 'change of terrain' is far from upsetting the entire French landscape to which I am referring; because what we need, perhaps, as Nietzsche said, is a change of 'style'; and if there is style, Nietzsche reminded us, it must be plural.
It is the voice of everyday people, rather than of a self-conscious 'artist', that we hear in Caedmon's Hymn, and in such texts as Deor's Lament (also known simply as Deor) or The Seafarer. These reflect ordinary human experience and are told in the first person. They make the reader or hearer relate directly with the narratorial 'I', and frequently contain intertextual references to religious texts. Although they express a faith in God, only Caedmon's Hymn is an overtly religious piece. Already we can notice one or two conventions creeping in; ways of writing which will be found again and again in later works. One of these is the use of the first-person speaker who narrates his experience, inviting the reader or listener to identify with him and sympathise with his feelings.