“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.” ~ Bing Crosby
Discussed in this post: 6 Books (I Am Woman; Destroyer of the gods; Paul, the Fool of Christ; Come Out, My People; The Ancient Economy; The Rings of Saturn); 1 Movie (Atanarjuat); 2 Documentaries (People of the Kattawapiskak River; Tickled).
1. I Am Woman by Lee Maracle.
Response to Larry Hurtado’s Destroyer of the gods: Early Christian Distinctiveness in the Roman World
Introduction: Christianity without the Cross?
In Destroyer of the gods, Larry Hurtado manages to do something remarkable: he writes a book about early Christian distinctiveness in the Roman world, without ever discussing the single most distinctive element of the early Jesus movement—the cross. The crucifixion of Jesus. The fact that the person whom the early Jesus followers proclaimed as “Lord,” “Son of God,” “Christ,” and “Saviour,” and incorporated into their “dyadic devotional pattern” (68), was crucified. However you want to call it, this is missing from Hurtado’s book. Yet there was nothing more scandalous, offensive, revolutionary and genuinely distinct about the early Jesus movement than this (and even if some folks may disagree that the cross is the most distinct element of the early Jesus movement, I imagine that they will all agree that is a distinctive element).
Before getting into my book reviews — my most highly anticipated blog series that nobody reads! — I’d like to mention that I’m doing a “Go Fund Me” to try and finish my M.A. If anybody wants to support me in that project, you can check out the link here. I appreciate any and all support.
Now then, on to the good stuff! In this post I explore: 6 Books (Separate Beds; Divine Honours For The Caesars; Paul; The Time That Remains; The Roman Empire; and The Man Without Qualities, Vol. 1); 1 Movie (Ikiru); and 3 Documentaries (Weiner; Man on Wire; and Dwarvenaut).
1. Separate Beds: A History of Indian Hospitals in Canada, 1920s-1980s by Maureen K. Lux.
Continuing the longest running series that nobody reads, I present my August Reviews! They make mention of: 6 Books (An Act of Genocide; The Son of God in the Roman World; The Argonauts; Dangerous Love; The Slap; and Marbles); 1 Movie (Crimson Peak); and 4 Documentaries (The King of Kong; Tony Robbins; High School; and The Thin Blue Line).
1. An Act of Genocide: Colonization and the Sterilization of Indigenous Women by Karen Stote.
Were I to put together a course of crucial texts for Canadians to read, this would be one of them.
[The following fable is attested to in various cultures with variants dating back to the early dynastic period of Egypt (c. 3050-2686BCE), the Naru literature of Mesopotamia (second millennium BCE), and the Shang Dynasty in China (1700-1050BCE). It continues to surface in other story-telling traditions, notably the Aesopica (originating c.620-564BCE), the parables of Jesus (c.3BCE-33CE), the stories told by the Baal Shem Tov (c.1700-1760CE), and it is even alluded to in poetry told by the famous Romanian fabulist, Grigore Alexandrescu (1810-1885). it is impossible now to say if the story had a sole point of origin or if it arose independently in various locations and then these stories cross-pollinated and created new variations over time. What is clear is that four or five very distinct and different endings are left to the contemporary reader. I have, to the best of my ability, created a contemporary version of the fable that combines elements from multiple sources. I do not mark which parts are earlier or later or which stem from which tradition (I’ll leave that kind of source and redaction criticism to the exegete and not trouble those who read because they love to read with such details). However, because the endings are so different, I have left each one to stand on its own. The main body of the text breaks off and then the various versions begin to split from each other. I have labeled the endings in the following manner: The Somewhat Ambiguous Ending, The Happy Endings (Version 1 & Version 2), The Horrible Ending, and The Sad Ending. I have chosen this order because The Somewhat Ambiguous Ending, The Happy Endings, and The Horrible Ending, have the most content in common and only diverge from each other at the last minute. The Sad Ending is longer and splits off earlier from the other two. I record it last. It is also the ending that appears most frequently in the various traditions but the frequency of its use (not to mention its length) should not lead the reader to consider it the most authoritative ending. In truth, it is impossible to now determine which ending is the most authoritative (or earliest). Additionally, although the Happy Endings and The Horrible Ending all build on The Somewhat Ambiguous Ending, it is hard to know if that makes them later extensions or a previously shorter work or later reductions of a previously longer work. It is up to the reader to choose the ending s/he wants. I cannot chose for the reader. I can only tell the story, which I will do now.]
In the beginning, the child was not afraid of the dark. After the lights had gone out and the parents had left the room and the music had stopped playing, he often got out of bed and explored and played games in his imagination, and noticed how different things looked when you could hardly see them. Shadows merged into objects and objects faded into shadows. Spirits took on bodies and bodies faded into slivers of light or pockets of darkness in the corner of the room.