Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Giving tragedy a transcendent meaning

I think one of the powerful narratives of Christian theology is that it turns tragedy into triumph and suffering into salvation. It does not have to be true to be powerful. The crucifixion of a Jewish preacher and the destruction of the Jewish Temple were both tragic but the gospel writers were able to take that tragedy and that suffering and turn into a narrative of purpose, meaning, and salvation.
Christianity does a wonderful job in making the suffering of a Jewish preacher into a great transcendent triumph however all the suffering and tragedy before it seem to be glossed over and it makes one doubt the universal validity of that narrative. Christian theology traveled well for various reasons but one was the ability to reach the common man and woman at their point of suffering. Jesus is a god that not only suffered for you but can also suffer with you.
There are those who defend the previous millions of years of suffering and death as part of the story but it seems the response is either to ignore it, deny it, or justify it. All the answers seem like retro engineering based on a narrow unimaginative perspective, special pleading, and heartless doctrinal bureaucratic language that would impress Eichmann.
Assyrian art 650 B.C.E.
Jesus of Nazareth crucified around 30 AD

No comments: