Tag Archives: theology
The Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation…
How would the Church of England deal with “the cat sat on the mat” if it appeared in the Bible?
The liberal theologians would point out that such a passage did not of course mean that the cat literally sat on the mat. Also, cat and mat had different meanings in those days from today, and anyway, the text should be interpreted according to the customs and practices of the period.
This would lead to an immediate backlash from the Evangelicals. They would make it an essential condition of faith that a real physical, living cat, being a domestic pet of the Felix Domesticus species, and having a whiskered head and furry body, four legs and a tail, did physically place its whole body on a floor covering, designed for that purpose, which is on the floor but not of the floor. The expression “on the floor but not of the floor” would be explained in a leaflet.
Meanwhile, the Catholics would have developed the Festival of the Sedentation of the Blessed Cat. This would teach that the cat was white and majestically reclined on a mat of gold thread before its assumption to the Great Cat Basket of Heaven. This would be commemorated by the singing of the Magnificat, lighting three candles, and ringing a bell five times. This would cause a schism withthe Orthodox Church which would believe that tradition would require Holy Cats Day [as it would be colloquially known] to be marked by lighting six candles and ringing the bell four times. This would be partly resolved by the Cuckoo Land Declaration recognising the traditional validity of each.
Eventually, the House of Bishops would issue a statement on the Doctrine of the Feline Sedentation. It would explain that traditionally the text describes a domestic feline quadruped superjacent to an unattached covering on a fundamental surface. For determining its salvific and eschatological significations, it would follow the heuristic analytical principles adopted in dealing with the Canine Fenestration Question [How much is that doggie in the window?] and the Affirmative Musaceous Paradox [Yes, we have no bananas]. And so on, for another 210 pages.
The General Synod would then commend this report as helpful resource material for clergy to explain to the man in the pew the difficult doctrine of the cat sat on the mat.
Blessing or curse? Bruce Springsteen is now the subject of a theology course
At Rutgers University in New Jersey students will examine how the singer ‘recasts biblical stories into the American landscape’
theguardian.com, Tuesday 12 November 2013
Article of faith … Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics refer more commonly to the Old Testament than the New, with redemption a dominant motif. Photograph: Jemal Countess/Getty
As befits a singer whose fans greet him with religious fervour, whose songs often contain references to faith – and many of whose female characters are called Mary – Bruce Springsteen has become the subject of a theology course at Rutgers University in his home state of New Jersey.
Professor Azzan Yadin-Israel, who teaches courses in early rabbinic literature in the department of Jewish studies, is to host a one-semester course on the theological underpinnings of Springsteen’s lyrics, looking at how he has interpreted biblical texts in his work.
“Interestingly, Springsteen refers more often to the stories of the Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament) than the New Testament,” Yaddin-Israel told Rutgers Today. “On a literary level, Springsteen often recasts biblical figures and stories into the American landscape. The narrator of Adam Raised a Cain describes his strained relationship with his father through the prism of the biblical story of the first father and son; Apocalyptic storms accompany a boy’s tortured transition into manhood in The Promised Land, and the first responders of 9/11 rise up to “someplace higher” in the flames, much as Elijah the prophet ascended in a chariot of fire (Into the Fire).
“Theologically, I would say the most dominant motifs are redemption – crossing the desert and entering the Promised Land – and the sanctity of the everyday. Springsteen tries to drag the power of religious symbols that are usually relegated to some transcendent reality into our lived world. In his later albums he also writes very openly about faith.”
As Consequence of Sound notes, it not the first time Springsteen has popped up on a college syllabus. Princeton offered a course on Sociology from E Street: Bruce Springsteen’s America, and other institutions have also given students the chance to study The Boss.