The Diseased Imaginings of a Tainted Mind
I have said for a long while that I would upload my final year essays. Many of them might be of use to some people. They are Christian in basis, but the topics are varied. There are essays that cover scriptural studies of the Antichrist, through to ethical studies of the place of the Bible in Ethics, and of course the ethics of homosexuality. There is an interfaith essay on the current state of the Pagan-Christian dialogue, and what future hope there is for this dialogue to improve, if any, as well as a look at the place of Baptism in the Christian faith, and through a study of the 4th century liturgy where our symbols have come from. Finally, there is the dissertation that surprised many. The one that looks at culture, and asks if theology can truly be taken from it with any legitimacy. The Dissertation asks this question with direct reference to the book Small Gods by Terry Pratchett, and gives examples of how theology might interact with the theology that is currently being explored in popular culture.
When reading Bishop Spong’s book, something struck me about an idea he had put forward of the river Jordan.
That Jordan River was also thought to offer a door way into the promised land where God was believed to reign as king.
The Jordan, then is a liminal place. A Place on the boundaries. Water has always been considered a barrier between life and whatever comes next, the celts used to leave offerings, and the occasional sacrifice to such placed. Mountains were also liminal places, close to the crossing between man and God. Moses found God on the mountain, God’s home was on the mountain, God could have been said to be a God of the mountain. When Jesus of Nazareth stepped into the liminal place that had been parted three times,( once for Joshua (Josh 2:11-13), once for Elijah (2 Kings 2:8), and once for Elisha (2 Kings 2:14)), the water did not part. He stepped into the water and was baptised, and the spirit of God in him called out to the spirit of God on the mountain, the spirit of God beyond the world. The people that stood on the shores heard the booming voice, or saw the dove.
For an essay that I have to write, I decided that it would be easier to do if I actually had a liturgy from the 4th Century to read from, so that I can make the comparisons. I found that there are many reconstructions, but I wanted one that used the writings of St. Cyril (as these were given to us in class), as well as the writings of St. Ambrose, both of which are freely available online.
I include the result for your comment.