Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Re: Conciliatory moves over Easter

From:Adrian Morgan <morg0072@...>
Date:Monday, May 1, 2000, 8:53
BP Jonsson wrote, quoting myself:

> >In ancient times religion was a very nationalistic > >thing - people worshipped the gods so that their > >nation would be favoured over others, and the nature > >of worship was intimately tied to culture. Into this > >world Christianity came, and one of its basic > >tenents was and is that religion is _not_ a question > >of culture, that it _transcends_ culture, that no > >culture is favoured by God. > > No offense, but that is true also of Buddhism -- the > Buddha (died 544 BCE) said that the true brahman, > the true arya (i.e. "noble") was to be defined > by the practice of Dharma, not by descent or race. > Indian monks have wandered north and east spreading > the Dharma to the non-Aryans of central and east > Asia?
And the principles of 'Dharma', presumably, are relatively abstract and can thus be seperated from particular cultural expressions. Not knowing anything about it, I'd guess that it's basically a form of the only ultimate moral law - "Act constructively" - right? I think everyone agrees with this -- moral debates come about because what is constructive depends upon what exists, and _that's_ where religions and philosophies and individual opinions differ. In a nutshell, my perspective on Buddhism is this: that the person and life of Buddha illustrates very nicely what Christ meant by: "Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for total righteousness, for they will be satisfied". My original comments, of course, were purely in the context of describing what St Paul meant about "being all things to all people".
> This difference in orientation is essentially > what I meant by "pagan" vs. "revealed". I'm > sorry that I didn't make myself entirely clear > on that. I also perceive that those calling > themselves _pagans_ today share this openness > to people of all origins.
One thing about pagan vs Christian controversies that really annoys me is the failure on some peoples' part (on both sides) to acknowledge the difference between a reconstruction and an adaptation. All forms of modern paganism combine aspects of ancient religion with aspects of the 20th century, therefore they are _not_ reconstructions of ancient religion but _adaptations_, and what exists now cannot be judged on the merits of something else that existed 2,000 years ago. For this reason I get annoyed both with Christians who use the Bible to define what pagans are supposed to believe, and with pagans who overplay the whole ancient origins thing. Adrian.