Apostle Paul’s Spiritual Experience: A Universal Manner of Being
No matter if one is religious or agnostic, Paul’s letters are compelling pieces of literature. Part confession, part exhortation, and part reprimand, his epistles are a gripping expression of a call to duty in the face of what the Apostle perceived to be an eminent end of days. Although the world did not cease to exist as he expected, the destruction of Jerusalem and its Second Temple eight years after his death in 70 AD, could very well be considered the end of the world for the Jewish people. The political context that led to Paul’s execution in Rome foreshadowed his dread about the future. To this day his landmark epistle to the Romans remains his most important legacy. Overall, his letters disclose a man set apart for a mission. His calling initiated an identity crisis directly related to his Jewish religious background as a man born in Tarsus, living in a Greek cultural environment, and subject to Roman political control. The context of Paul’s vocation reveals a religious disintegration and the unraveling dynamic of a spiritual experience.
Superman: A Mythical American
When I first introduced the idea that Superman was a mythical hero in 1992, the notion came as a surprise to many. Over time it became acceptable to most. Today we can safely say that mythology plays a similar role in American culture and ideology that it did in ancient Greece or Rome.
Culture, Ideology and Religion
Religio and American Civil Religion
With this essay I propose a reassessment of American civil religion developed by Robert N. Bellah. The recent Religious Right’s political activism has somewhat changed the landscape of American civil religion, inaugurating a state of religious and political exceptionalism. Shattering the idea of a cultural and political inclusiveness inherent in civil religion. As a result of the changes, a reevaluation was deemed appropriate. To do so we examine Roman religio as a case study of civil religion.
Media, Internet and Spirituality
The Historical Development of the Mythical Santa Claus
Every year as winter sets in, people go through a yearly ritual called the Holidays. For some, Christmas is a celebration of the birth of Jesus, a religious event. For others, it’s a secular season of gift giving and receiving. For most, it’s a consumer regimented event. Weeks prior December 25th, the mainstream media revives images of a mythical Santa Claus to set in motion a festive mood that will entice consumer spending. In most minds Santa Claus is an American icon, the result of newspapers’ fictional alteration of Saint Nicholas and the contribution of advertising that framed the image of the Santa as we know it today. Yet only since 1773 has he been known as Santa Claus and perceived as a secular icon rather than a Saint. This beckons the question: how did this transformation occur? Is it truly a secular transition or a market driven substitution of a sacred figure?
Washington National Monument
A step by step re-enactment of the building and inauguration of the giant obelisk. The erection of the Washington National Monument stands as a visible sign that celebrates the mythical foundation of its founding Father, revealing in the process how myth and politics blend-in together to generate an ideological consolidation of power.
New Testament Tradition
The Risen Lord: On Sovereignty and Tyranny
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of Christianity’s most central creed. It is also one that is subject to literal as well as spiritual interpretations. The contention between the two stems from a lexical ambiguity of the term “body,” a word that, in respect to spiritual salvation, signifies a group of believers; an assembly, hence the church, rather than the anatomy, the flesh.
Old Testament Tradition
Book Job: A Vision of God
This essay is among the more popular essays on this site. It outlines the principle of the Lord-victim. Job who at the beginning of the story was God’s preferred character, is suddenly and for no reason, cast out of favor. Our hero who once at the top of system that he controlled is now an outcast and rejected from that world. As a pariah, he sees the system as an outsider and is able to perceive the whole reality of lordship and victim.